Tuberculosis is a disease that primarily affects the lungs, causing symptoms like a bad cough, fever, coughing up blood and more. There are two types of tuberculosis infections, latent and active. If an infection is latent, it is not contagious to anyone else, and the patient shows no symptoms. In an active tuberculosis infection, they are very contagious and symptoms begin to show up quickly.
The first test is the TB skin test, also known as the Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST). A small amount of a fluid called tuberculin is injected directly under the skin, usually on the lower part of your arm. Your healthcare provider will then assess the injection site approximately 24-48 hours later to see if there is any kind of reaction to the tuberculin. If the area comes back looking concerning to your doctor, you will need additional testing to learn if you do indeed have tuberculosis. The skin test is the preferred test for children who are age five and under.
There is also a second test, which is the TB blood test. It is a simple blood test to find out if you have been infected with tuberculosis. If your results do come back positive, your healthcare provider will assess you further and find out if your TB infection is latent or active. Then, at that point, they can put you on a course of medication in order to heal your tuberculosis infection.
If you are looking for somewhere to perform a tuberculosis test on you, it is easy to find any number of places that perform the test. For example, many occupational health clinics will be able to test you. Your primary care provider, will of course also be able to give you the test. Some pharmacies also are able to do the test as well, but you will have to check with your local one in order to find out.
Here at Passport Health, we are also able to perform both kinds of TB tests. Call or book online to schedule your appointment today.
Jennifer Passmore is a stay-at-home mom, writer and beader. She loves creating art with her words and through her jewelry. She is also a passionate mental health advocate. You can find more writing at her website Positivity In Pain.