Tuberculosis Information

Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne disease that can occur in any part of the body (the brain, spine, lymph nodes, etc), but it most often causes infection in the lungs..

TB is spread from person to person through the air. This happens when a person with TB of the lungs sneezes, coughs, speaks, or sings and a person close by breathes in the MTB bacteria.

Not everyone with TB gets sick. A person can have TB disease or TB infection (“LTBI”), both of which are treatable with medication. If someone is not treated properly, TB can be a severe or deadly disease. People who have LTBI and are not treated properly can develop TB disease and become sick.

General information about TB and a variety of TB topics is available on US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The Role of CDPH

Although CDPH no longer operates its own TB clinics, CDPH continues to provide TB clinical services through a contract with the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS). The CCHHS “Chest Clinic” provides care for Chicago residents diagnosed with or suspected of having TB, contacts to infectious cases, and recently arrived immigrants and refugees. The clinic is staffed by members of the CCHHS Pulmonology and Critical Care Division, and all TB-related services are provided free-of-charge. Appointments are through CDPH referral only.

Other services include:

  • Nurse case management of all individuals with suspected or confirmed TB
  • Directly observed therapy (DOT)
  • Contact investigations
  • Housing for patients experiencing homelessness during TB treatment
  • Medical and infection control consultations
  • Surveillance, epidemiology, and research
  • TB education and training

Contact us

  • For medical or infection control consultation call Dr. Kathy Ritger, Medical Director, at (312) 746-5992 or Nereida Bruno-Otero, Nursing Supervisor, at (312) 746-6036
  • For education, training and general programmatic questions call Stephanie Atella, Program Director, at (312) 746-5987 or email stephanie.atella@cityofchicago.org
  • To report cases or discuss referrals to Chest Clinic Juan Elias, Field Services Supervisor, at (312) 746-6013 and fax pertinent patient records (e.g., admission and consultation notes, discharge summaries, laboratory and chest imaging reports, and medication records) to (312) 746-5134.

In addition to faxing records, providers shall ensure all suspected and confirmed TB cases are entered in Illinois' National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS). Please do not email information that contains patient identifiers.

Although TB is less common in the US now than in the past, there are still cases of TB in the Chicagoland area. For detailed information about TB in Chicago, please visit the following link here.

Click on the links below for further information on:

Screening Services and Additional Information about TB

Frequently Asked Questions for Health Care Providers – Including How to Report

 

 Service Facts

Department:

Programs & Initiatives:

 Department Main Office

Public Health

  • TTY: 312.747.2374

  • 333 S. State Street
    Room 200
    Chicago, IL 60604 (For 24-hour assistance or to report a public health issue, call 311.)   
    Get Directions

 I Want To