Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a group of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is also known as active tuberculosis or active TB. TB bacteria usually affect the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain. Some symptoms of TB disease are prolonged unexplained cough for longer than three weeks, weight loss, fever/chills, night sweats and coughing up blood. Sometimes TB disease has very mild symptoms and can be hard to diagnose. When a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or talks, the TB bacteria travel from their lungs into the air. People who spend a fair amount of time in close contact with this person may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. People with TB disease must be isolated (until not infectious) and begin treatment which lasts a minimum of six months.
However, not everyone infected with TB bacteria develops TB disease. People who are not sick have what is called latent TB infection. People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms and cannot spread TB to others. TB disease may develop after years of latent TB infection. Most people with latent TB infection can take medicine so that their risk of developing TB disease is reduced. For more information on TB, see the health unit’s fact sheet on tuberculosis. Simcoe Muskoka
The following graph shows the number of TB disease cases in Simcoe Muskoka between 2000 and 2015. There have been between zero and eight TB disease cases in Simcoe Muskoka every year since 2000. In 2015, four cases of tuberculosis were reported in Simcoe Muskoka.
The following graph shows the incidence rate of TB disease in Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario between 2000 and 2015. The Simcoe Muskoka rate is much lower than the Ontario rate. Most TB disease cases in Ontario occur among foreign-born individuals from countries where TB disease is much more common. In 2015, the Simcoe Muskoka incidence rate was 0.73 cases per 100,000 population and the Ontario incidence rate was 4.3 cases per 100,000 population.
More detailed data for Ontario and each health unit can be found on Public Health Ontario’s interactive Snapshots tool, by clicking on “Select Indicator”.
There are many factors that influence how many cases are reported to the health unit, as explained on the Infectious Diseases page.