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Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious but treatable disease caused by a bacterium (germ) called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB usually affects the lungs (‘pulmonary TB’), but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as lymph nodes, brain, kidneys, bowel or bones (‘extrapulmonary TB’).

Tuberculosis Fact Sheets

ARPHS’ role in TB control in the Auckland Region

The Communicable Disease Control Team at the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has a key role in tuberculosis (TB) control in the Auckland region.

Health Professionals provide the following services:

  • Supervision of treatment of people with TB in the community.  In some cases directly observed therapy (DOT) is used, where a Nurse or Health Worker directly observes the person taking their TB medicines.  Such close treatment supervision helps reduce the risk of treatment failure or development of drug resistance.
  • Investigation and follow up of TB contacts (people who have been closely exposed to a person with infectious tuberculosis in their lungs or throat before the person was treated i.e. when they were still infectious). Contact follow up starts with enquiry about symptoms of TB, education about TB and Mantoux skin testing, which is followed by blood tests and chest X-rays if these are needed. TB contact follow up enables detection of other cases of TB disease (to diagnose TB disease early and to avoid further spread of infection to others), and detection of latent TB infection or LTBI (where people have been infected with TB germs, but are not infectious to others).
  • Education and advice for people with TB, TB contacts, family members and the wider community.
  • Treatment of LTBI with medicines to help prevent future TB disease.
  • Training Health Professionals in Mantoux testing and BCG vaccination techniques.

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