What is Tuberculosis?

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.
  • TB bacteria are spread through the air from one person to another. The TB 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 these bacteria and become infected.
  • CDC breaks down who should be tested for TB
  • Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

Is this a reportable illness?

  • TB disease is reportable, but TB infection in the absence of active disease (i.e., latent TB infection) is NOT reportable In Illinois.
  • People with TB disease usually are diagnosed in a hospital or a clinic, which reports the case to CDPH.
  • If you need to report a case of active TB disease, please reach out to (312)-743-9000.

What do schools need to do next?

  • Work with CDPH to determine the next steps.
  • Sick person
    • For those with active disease: Public health officials determine when an individual with active TB may return to work or school
    • No exclusion is required for latent TB infection.
  • No action for close contacts.
  • No special cleaning.



  • A draft parent letter is available through CDPH upon the confirmation of a reported case.
  • TB One Pager - Coming Soon
  • TB One Pager PDF - Coming Soon