Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

May 28, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert want to raise awareness about TB, and the Health Department's TB clinics.

"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 TB. All services are confidential and by appointment only; call 845-364-2995.
  • The Health Department's Tuberculosis Skin Test (TST) Clinic performs tuberculin skin tests to check for TB 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 845-364-2995 for an appointment. The clinic offers tuberculin skin tests from 8:30 am - 11:30 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the Health Department in Pomona, by appointment only. Patients must return 48-72 hours later for the reading of the test. There is a $25 charge for the skin test. If a chest x-ray is needed, arrangements can be made. We accept cash or check only 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 & United Healthcare (underwritten by Oxford); Child Health Plus; and Essential Plan.

TB is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called Mycobacteria tuberculosis, which usually infects the lungs, but can infect other parts of the body, including the kidneys, bones and lymph nodes. TB infection can be latent or active. Latent TB infection means that the TB bacteria 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 bacteria. Active TB infection means that the bacteria 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 bacteria 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 bacteria through the air by coughing, sneezing or even singing. Nearby people who breathe in the bacteria 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.