Health Department

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location.
703-246-2411 TTY 711
10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
Barbara Andrino, MD
Tuberculosis Physician

Let's Talk TB!

Tuberculosis (TB) is still a public health problem in Northern Virginia. But TB can be treated and cured!

What Is TB and How Do I Get It?

TB is a disease, caused by bacteria, that can spread from one person to another. Most often TB affects the lungs, but you can find it in any part of the body.

TB bacteria are spread through the air in tiny droplets when a person who is sick with TB in their lungs coughs, sneezes or speaks.

Tuberculosis spreading from one male figure by cough or sneeze to the other male figure

If you breathe in these droplets, you may become infected with the TB bacteria without knowing it because you will not feel sick and will not have symptoms. This is called latent TB infection (LTBI). Millions of people in the United States have TB infection, and without treatment, they are at risk for developing TB disease. That is why getting tested and taking medicine for prevention is important.

Latent TB Infection LungsTuberculosis Disease Lungs

Image credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What Are the Symptoms of TB?

Symptoms of active TB disease may include:

  • Cough lasting three or more weeks.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Losing weight.
  • Night sweats.
  • Fatigue.
  • Fever.

Remember, people with latent TB infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms.

Who Is More Likely to Become Infected With TB?

If you have one or more of the following risk factors, you have a greater chance of getting TB infection:

  • Lived or spent time in a country where TB is common.
  • Lived or spent time with someone with active TB disease.
  • Lived or worked in a congregate setting (such as a shelter, jail, long-term care or assisted living facility).
  • Worked in a health care setting.
  • Homeless, especially within the last two years.
  • Drug user.
  • Infant, child or adolescent who has spent time with an adult at increased risk for TB infection or TB disease.

BCG Vaccine Does Not Prevent TB

Unlike many vaccines that are very good at preventing disease, the bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is used in many countries with a high burden of TB to prevent TB complications in infants and young children. It does NOT prevent you from getting TB infection if you are exposed to someone with active TB disease. If you have latent TB infection, it does NOT prevent you from developing active TB disease.

How Do I Get Tested for TB?

There are two tests that can tell if you have TB bacteria in your body: a skin test and a blood test. For more information about these tests, see the TB Test Options fact sheet.

To get tested, call your medical provider or the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-246-2433.

TB Test Options

There are 2 types of tests to tell if a person has TB germs in their body. Talk with your health care provider to learn more about which one is best for you.

Test Syringe

How is the test given?


How many visits do I need?


When will I know my result?

Smiling face

Who should consider the test?


How much does it cost?

Skin A nurse injects a small amount of fluid under the skin of your arm Requires one visit to do the test and a second visit for a nurse to look at your arm and give you your result

2-3 days

Result given at follow-up appointment


$27 (includes office visit and test)

Insurance not accepted

Free for school-age children

Blood A nurse takes a small amount of blood from your arm Only requires one visit to do the test       3–5 days

Anyone 2 years and older

Preferred test for anyone who has gotten the TB vaccine, “BCG”

$49.50 (includes office visit and test)

Insurance not accepted

Free for school-age children

Download the TB Test Options fact sheet.

Can TB Be Treated?

Yes. Latent TB infection and active TB disease can be treated and cured by taking all the medicine your medical provider orders.

If you have TB risk factors or TB symptoms, call your medical provider or the Health Department at 703-246-2433.

If you live outside of Fairfax County, visit the Virginia Department of Health's website to find your local health department.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant