Canada reported 1,772 cases of active tuberculosis disease in 2020. Tuberculosis cases exist in Niagara. Learn who is most at risk.
Our role at Public Health is to:
- Ensure all cases and contacts of tuberculosis are investigated
- Work with health care professionals in managing tuberculosis cases
- Provide education to client, families, and general public
- Ensure client's access to publicly funded (free) medication
- Check adherence to treatment through directly-observed therapy
Causes and types of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria that usually affects the lungs, but may also affect other parts of the body.
- Latent tuberculosis infection is when the tuberculosis bacteria are "asleep" (inactive) in your body and do not make you sick
- Active tuberculosis disease is when the tuberculosis bacteria are multiplying in your body and will make you feel sick
Tuberculosis is preventable, treatable and curable.
Learn more about tuberculosis.
A skin test (tuberculin skin test) or a blood test (Interferon-Gamma Release Assay) is used to detect tuberculosis bacteria in your body.
A positive result means you have been exposed to the tuberculosis bacteria. You will need further testing to see if you have latent tuberculosis infection or active tuberculosis disease.
Testing is available at your doctor’s office or walk-in clinics. Niagara Region Public Health does not offer testing.
Niagara Region Public Health provides free medication for the treatment of active tuberculosis disease. For the medication to be effective, it's important to take it as prescribed. A public health nurse will monitor you for the duration of the treatment.
Tuberculosis medical surveillance is a medical check-up for a person who has recently arrived in Canada. This is to assess if they have latent tuberculosis infection or active tuberculosis disease.
Medical surveillance is required by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada for anyone who was assessed as having inactive tuberculosis on their immigration medical examination.
Learn more about medical surveillance.
- World Health Organization
- World Tuberculosis Day
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Tuberculosis Site
For more information about tuberculosis, contact the Infectious Diseases Program at 905-688-8248 ext. 7330 or 1-888-505-6074.