If you are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, chest pain, fever, and fatigue, you may be at risk of tuberculosis (TB). TB is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. It is important to get screened for TB to prevent the spread of the disease and to receive timely treatment.
Types of TB Screening
There are two types of TB screening: the TB skin test and the TB blood test.
TB Skin Test
The TB skin test, also known as the Mantoux tuberculin skin test, involves injecting a small amount of tuberculin protein under the skin of your forearm. After 48 to 72 hours, a healthcare provider will check the injection site for a reaction. If there is swelling, redness, or a raised bump, it may indicate a TB infection.
TB Blood Test
The TB blood test, also known as the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA), involves taking a blood sample and testing it for the presence of TB antibodies. This test is more accurate than the TB skin test and does not require a follow-up visit.
Procedure for TB Screening
The procedure for TB screening is simple and quick. For the TB skin test, a healthcare provider will inject a small amount of tuberculin protein under the skin of your forearm. For the TB blood test, a healthcare provider will take a blood sample. After the test, you will need to wait for 48 to 72 hours for the TB skin test results. The TB blood test results are usually available within a few days.
Importance of TB Screening
TB screening is important for several reasons:
- Early detection and treatment can prevent the spread of TB to others.
- TB is a treatable disease, and early treatment can prevent serious complications.
- People who are at high risk of TB, such as healthcare workers, people living with HIV, and people who have been in close contact with someone who has TB, should get screened regularly.
1. Who should get screened for TB?
People who are at high risk of TB, such as healthcare workers, people living with HIV, and people who have been in close contact with someone who has TB, should get screened regularly.
2. Is TB screening painful?
The TB skin test involves a small needle prick, which may cause some discomfort. The TB blood test involves taking a blood sample, which may cause some mild pain or discomfort.
3. How long does it take to get TB screening results?
The TB skin test results are usually available within 48 to 72 hours. The TB blood test results are usually available within a few days.
4. What happens if I test positive for TB?
If you test positive for TB, you will need further testing to determine if you have an active TB infection. If you have an active TB infection, you will need treatment with antibiotics.
5. Can TB be cured?
Yes, TB can be cured with antibiotics. It is important to complete the full course of treatment to prevent the development of drug-resistant TB.
Book an Appointment for TB Screening
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Book an appointment for a tuberculosis screening today and take control of your health! Visit our TB Screening page to learn more and schedule your appointment.