Livingston County will be closed on Monday, May 27th in honor of Memorial Day.

Understanding Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, bones, brain or eye(s). 

Not everyone infected with TB germs becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (or inactive TB) and active TB disease. If not treated properly, active TB disease can be fatal. Starting a conversation with your doctor is the first step to protecting your family, friends, and community from this highly contagious disease.

Are you at risk for TB?


Am I at risk for TB infection?

Anyone can get TB, but you might have a higher risk for TB if you:

  • Were born in or frequently travel to countries where TB is common, including those in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
  • Live or used to live in large group settings where TB is more common, such as homeless shelters, prisons, or jails
  • Recently spent time with someone who has active TB disease
  • Have a weaker immune system because of certain medications or health conditions such as HIV, diabetes, or substance abuse
  • Work or live in places with high risk for TB transmission, such as hospitals, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and nursing homes


What TB test is needed?

The CDC recommends that people that are at increased risk should be tested for TB. Some occupations may require a TB test.

There are two types of tests:

  • TB blood test: The blood test measures how your immune system reacts to the germs that cause TB. If you have ever received a vaccine for TB, your healthcare provider will recommend that you have the TB blood test.
  • TB skin test: For the skin test, a small needle is used to put some testing material under the skin. You will need to return to your healthcare provider in 2-3 days to see if there is a reaction.

TB Skin Test Locations Available in Livingston County, call for appointment availability and pricing (Updated July 2023):

  • Advance Urgent Care Walk-in Clinic: 810-225-0086
  • IHA Urgent Care: 810-494-6810
  • Healthy Urgent Care IEP: 810-588-6610
  • Ascent Urgent Care, Fenton: 810-936-0040
  • IHA Urgent Care: 810-231-6080
  • Advance Urgent Care Walk-in Clinic: 810-632-0086
  • Ascent Urgent Care: 517-545-7400
  • Concentra Urgent Care: 810-225-9800
  • IHA Urgent Care: 517-338-9084
  • Howell Redicare: 517-546-9200




What are the treatment options?

If you have inactive TB, treating it is the best way to protect you from getting sick with active TB disease. There are several  convenient treatment options available.

A Positive Test for TB Infection

You have TB germs in your body. Your doctor will do other tests to determine if you have inactive TB or active TB disease. These tests may include an x-ray, and a test of the sputum you cough up. 

A Negative Test for TB Infection 

A negative test means you likely do not have inactive TB or active TB disease. Your doctor may order more tests if:

  • You have symptoms of active TB disease, like coughing, chest pain, fever, weight loss, or tiredness. 
  • Your exposure to TB germs was recent. 


What is the difference between latent and active TB disease?

Latent (inactive) TB Infection

  • Has a small amount of TB germs in their body that are alive but inactive.
  • Has no symptoms and does not feel sick.
  • Cannot spread TB germs to others.
  • Usually has a positive TB blood test or TB skin test indicating TB infection.
  • Has a normal chest x-ray and a negative sputum smear.
  • Needs treatment for inactive TB to prevent active TB disease.

Active TB Disease

  • Has active TB germs in their body.
  • May have symptoms such as: cough for 3 weeks or longer, chest pain, night sweats, coughing up blood or sputum, fever, loss of appetite, weakness/fatigue, chills, or weight loss.
  • May spread TB germs to others.
  • Usually has a positive TB blood test or TB skin test indicating TB infection.
  • May have an abnormal chest x-ray, or positive sputum smear or culture.
  • Needs treatment for active TB disease.

What does the Livingston County Health Department TB Program provide?

Active TB Case Management

LCHD helps ensure patients successfully complete TB treatment by:

  • Educating patients about TB and its treatment
  • Developing a treatment and monitoring plan

Latent TB Infection Treatment

LCHD can offer evaluation and treatment for those who are uninsured. 

TB Evaluation 

LCHD receives health information on newly arriving refugees and immigrants with certain medical conditions to evaluate for TB.

 Questions about TB? Contact us at 517-552-6882.

Healthcare Provider Resources

Occupational TB Screenings

Does your occupation recommend TB screening? View the MDHHS and CDC recommendations to see if you should be screened.

Last Modified April 11, 2024

Livingston County Health Department Logo
Matt Bolang

Matt Bolang
Health Officer


(517) 546-9850


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays


2300 E Grand River Ave
Suite 102
Howell, MI 48843


(517) 546-6995