How can MDR TB be prevented?

The most important way to prevent the spread of MDR TB is to take all medications exactly as prescribed. No doses should be missed, and treatment should not be stopped early. Patients should tell the doctor if they are having trouble taking the medications. If patients plan to travel, they should make sure they have enough medicine to last while they are away.


How does drug resistance happen?

Resistance to anti-TB drugs can occur when these drugs are misused or mismanaged. Examples include when patients do not complete their full course of treatment; when health care providers prescribe the wrong treatment, the wrong dose or length of time for taking the drugs; when the supply of drugs is not always available; or when the drugs are of poor quality.


Where can I get more information?

The Tuberculosis Treatment & Control Clinic is located at 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV, 89107. The Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (Closed for legal holidays/weekends) Appointments are highly recommended and can be scheduled by calling (702) 759-1370.


What is directly observed therapy (DOT)?

DOT is the standard of care for taking TB medication. All TB patients are placed on directly observed therapy, which enables us to watch you closely for side effects and ensures medicines are taken properly, not forgotten, and that you successfully complete a full course of therapy.


What if I have active TB disease of the lungs or throat?

If you have active TB disease of the lungs or throat, you are probably infectious. You will need to stay home from work or school, so you don’t spread TB bacteria to other people. When people are in your home, you will need to wear a mask over your mouth and nose to prevent spreading the disease.


How is active TB disease treated?

Active TB can almost always be cured with medicine, but the medicine must be taken as directed or you risk the bacteria becoming resistant to the medicine. Several medications are used at the same time because there are so many TB bacteria to be killed. TB bacteria die very slowly; it takes at least 6 months for the medicine to kill all of the TB bacteria.


What is active TB disease?

TB bacteria become active if the immune system can’t stop them from growing. The active bacteria begin to multiply in the body and cause active TB disease. The bacteria attack the body and destroy tissue. If this occurs in the lungs, the bacteria can actually create a hole in the lung.


How is TB spread?

TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.


How do they test for TB?

The TB skin test is used to find out if you have TB infection. A small amount of testing fluid is injected just under the skin on the underside of the forearm. After two or three days, you must return to have your skin test read by a health care worker to determine if it is positive or negative. A positive result usually means that you have been infected by someone with active TB disease. If you miss the skin reading, the entire test will have to be given again.