Knox County Tennessee

Tuberculosis Clinic

Tuberculosis (TB)

Note: we no longer perform TB screening or testing for employment or entry into schools.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attacks the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. The TB program at the KCHD provides services for risk assessment, diagnosis and treatment of TB (including TB testing, chest x-rays, laboratory examinations, medications and hospitalization if necessary.)

Prevention services are provided through TB education, contact examination for early detection and preventive medication for TB infection.

TB risk assessments are free for everyone. TB risk assessments and testing are available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the main health department and West Clinic. If you have questions, please call 865.215.5382.

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

TB is NOT spread by:

  • Shaking someone’s hand
  • Sharing food or drink
  • Touching bed linens or toilet seats
  • Sharing toothbrushes
  • Kissing

People with TB are most likely to spread it to people they spend a lot of time with. This includes family members, close friends, co-workers, and classmates.

Symptoms of TB depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. The bacteria associated with TB usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary TB). TB disease in the lungs may cause the following symptoms:

  • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)

Other symptoms of TB disease are:

  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • No appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sweat at night

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection and TB disease. Both latent TB infection and TB disease can be treated. Click here to learn more about these two TB-related conditions.

Have Questions?
Call: 865-215-5555

Need to report a public
health emergency?

Call 865-215-5093

On the first Wednesday of every month, all KCHD offices and clinics are closed in the morning for staff in-service. On these days, the main location (140 Dameron Ave.) will open at 11 a.m. and the West Clinic (1028 Old Cedar Bluff) will open at 11:30 a.m.

Clinics will also open at 10:30 a.m. (Main location) and 11 a.m. (West Clinic) on the following Wednesdays: April 17 and July 17. All other offices will open at 8 a.m.