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Tuberculosis (TB) Information for Residents

For Vietnamese (Thông Tin về Bệnh Lao cho Cư Dân​)

TB is a disease caused by a bacteria that is spread through the air from person to person. Anyone in close contact with a person with infectious TB can become infected with TB bacteria, regardless of their income, job, or education. 

TB can cause serious illness, and can even lead to death. 

Symptoms can include:
  • Cough that lasts more than 2-3 weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Night sweats 
  • Weight loss
TB can be treated and cured.  If you have any of the symptoms listed above, go see a doctor to find out if you have TB.

TB is preventable

Before you become sick with TB disease there is a period of time when you have no symptoms even though TB bacteria are dormant or sleeping inside your body.  This is called latent TB infection. Latent TB infection is not contagious. 

When your body can no longer prevent the bacteria from growing, it will multiply and cause TB disease. This can occur within weeks to many years, and even decades, after becoming infected.


Are you at risk?

If you answer "yes" to any of the questions below, ask your doctor to test you for latent TB infection: 
  • Were you born in or have you traveled to a country where TB is more common? TB is more common in most countries other than the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or a country in northern or western Europe.
  • Have you ever been in close contact to someone with TB?
  • Do you have a weakened immune system?


Free and low cost testing 

Your doctor can test you for latent TB infection with a blood or skin test. If you do not have a doctor, these community health centers can provide testing. 

A positive TB skin test should never be ignored. BCG vaccines are given in countries where TB is common. People who have had the BCG vaccine can still get latent TB infection and TB disease. If you think that your TB skin test might be positive due to a BCG vaccine, you should consider having a TB blood test. The TB blood test is never positive because of the BCG vaccine.   


Get treatment to prevent TB   

You can take medicine to kill the TB bacteria so you don’t get sick with TB disease. Talk with your doctor about treatment for latent TB infection.  Treatment for latent TB infection can lower your risk of developing TB disease by over 90%. 
Treatment options include:
  • Two medications (isoniazid and rifapentine​) that you take once a week for 12 weeks.
  • One medication (rifampin) that you take every day for 4 months.
  • One medication (isoniazid) that you take every day for 9 months. 
Ask your doctor which treatment is the best for you.

Tuberculosis School Mandate Information for Parents

Effective June 1, 2014, students newly enrolling into school in Santa Clara County are required to undergo TB testing ONLY if their healthcare provider identifies a risk factor for TB exposure. Prior to school enrollment, children are required to have their healthcare provider complete the Santa Clara County Public Health Department Risk Assessment for School Entry form. Take this form to your provider to complete and return to your child’s school. This requirement applies to students attending both public and private schools in Santa Clara County and is based on the authority given to the Santa Clara County Health Officer under the California Health and Safety Code, Section 121515. 

TB Risk Assessment for School Entry will be reinstated when in-person school resumes, thus TBCP SCC recommends that the test be done and filed with the school to be ready when school resumes. However the Assessment timing decision is up to the parents.  The Risk Assessment form and TB test (if necessary) must be completed within one month of a student starting in-person instruction. 

For routine yearly exams, the CDPH pediatric risk assessment​ may be used by your provider. This form does not meet the requirements for students newly enrolling in Santa Clara County schools.

If your child does not have a regular health care provider, your child can be screened for TB at one of these community health centers (English /Spanish)Clinics with an * have walk-in visits (you do not need an appointment). ​

Additional information
access the TB school mandate parents and guardians packet 


Dear Parent Letter (English / Spanish / Chinese / Vietnamese)
Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions for the SCC TB Risk Assessment for School Entry Form 



​​​​​TB Screening Requirements for Children in Child Care

Please see Tuberculosis Screening for Children in Childcare fact sheet for more information. 

TB Screening Requirements for Child Care/School Staff and Volunteers 

The California Department of Public Health Tuberculosis Risk Assessment for Child Care/School Staff and Volunteers satisfies California Education Code, Sections 49406 and 87408.6 and the California Health and Safety Code, Sections 1597.055 and 121525, 121545, and 121555.  Please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for additional information 

Facts About TB in Santa Clara County (SCC)

  • The rate of TB disease in SCC is three times the rate for the U.S. 
  • SCC has the third highest number of cases of TB disease in California after Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. 
  • During 2017, 75% of people with TB disease were born in Vietnam, the Philippines, India, or China. 
  • During 2017, 41% of people with TB disease were 65 years of age or older and 29% had diabetes.
  • It is estimated that about 160,000 people in SCC have latent TB infection. Most people don’t know they are infected. Without treatment they are at risk for becoming sick with TB disease. ​​​​
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Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention and Control Program
Santa Clara County Public Health Department
976 Lenzen Avenue, Suite 1700
San Jose, CA 95126


Phone: (408) 792-1381
Fax: (408) 885-2331​

Last updated: 8/17/2020 3:00 PM