World TB Day is being marked by health officials across Florida on Friday.

Officials say the disease is one of those curable and preventable illnesses that can be checked with a quick skin test.

Those are being offered for free in some quarters, such as Sanford in central Florida.

In the United States, up to 13 million people are estimated to have latent tuberculosis infection, so the awareness and testing programs remain vital elements of curbing the spread of the disease.

Outreach and prevention programs include screening of high-risk individuals, investigation and testing of those exposed to an active case of TB, along with directly observed medication therapy of active TB cases.

Clinical services provide the diagnosis and treatment of persons with active TB disease and comprehensive case management of active cases of TB.

Officials say treatment is crucial to achieving the ultimate goal of eliminating TB as a public health problem in Florida.

Anyone can get TB, according to health officials.

General symptoms include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats.

Symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain, and the coughing up of blood. Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.

TB germs are spread when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings.

These germs can stay in the air for several hours, depending on the environment. Persons who breathe in the air containing these TB germs can become infected; this is called latent TB infection.

TB disease can be treated by taking several drugs for several months.

Authorities say it is very important that people who have TB disease finish the medicine, and take the drugs exactly as prescribed.