Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

March 20, 2017
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announced that March 24 is World TB (Tuberculosis) Day, a perfect time to raise awareness about TB, and the Health Department's TB clinics.

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by a germ called Mycobacteria tuberculosis. TB usually infects the lungs, but it can infect other parts of the body, including the kidneys, bones and lymph nodes. "Finding and treating TB early can prevent serious medical problems, and the spread of the disease to others," said Dr. Ruppert.

The Health Department's Chest Clinic offers medical evaluation and treatment of tuberculosis. All services are by appointment only; call 845-364-2995. The Health Department's TST (Tuberculin Skin Test) Clinic performs the tuberculin skin tests to check for tuberculosis infection. TST (also called a PPD test) is available for those who are required to get this test for work, immigration or other reasons. Call 845-364-2997 for an appointment. There is a $25 charge for the skin test. If a chest x-ray is required, the cost for the x-ray is $50. We accept cash or check at the time of your appointment. We participate in the following health insurance plans which will cover the cost for the skin test and chest x-ray, if needed: Medicare and Medicare HMO, Medicaid, Medicaid HMO which include Affinity, Fidelis, MVP, Wellcare and United Healthcare (underwritten by Oxford), and Child Health Plus.

TB infection can be latent or active. Latent TB infection means that the TB germ is in your body (usually the lungs), but it is not actively growing, spreading or causing symptoms. A person with latent TB cannot spread the germ. Active TB infection means that the germ is growing and spreading in the lungs and/or other parts of the body. A person with active TB usually becomes sick and can spread the TB germ to others. Both latent and active TB can be cured if you take antibiotics prescribed by a doctor.

A person with active TB of the lungs can spread the germs through the air by coughing, sneezing or even singing. Nearby people who breathe in the germs can then become infected. Usually you must be very close to a person with active TB for a long time before you can get infected. You cannot get TB by touching doorknobs, handles, or other objects. The symptoms depend upon which part of the body is infected with TB, but common signs of active TB include: a constant cough; fevers; night sweats; loss of appetite; weight loss; fatigue (tiredness); and coughing up blood.

Get tested for TB if:

  • You have symptoms of active TB disease; or
  • You have spent time with a person with known or suspected active TB disease; or
  • You have HIV infection or another condition that weakens your immune system; or
  • You are from a country outside the United States where active TB disease is common; or
  • You have visited or lived somewhere where there is a high TB rate; or
  • You inject illegal drugs.

For general information about TB, and for health care providers reporting cases or needing information, call 845-364-2997.