Urgent Care for TB Testing
Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne disease typically affecting the lung. TB is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, it can lead to serious complications and even be fatal if left untreated. At ConvenientMD, we offer screening for tuberculosis to determine active disease or latent exposure to tuberculosis.
What is TB Testing?
There are two ways to detect exposure to tuberculosis, the most common being what’s called a Mantoux Tuberculin Skin Test (also referred to as a PPD test). A reaction on the skin when the agent is injected can signify exposure to TB. A blood test—called an IGRA—can also be used to confirm the presence of TB. In certain cases, both tests may be administered to ensure a proper, accurate diagnosis.
Why Get a TB Test?
Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to Tuberculosis either through a family member or co-worker, travel history or from a high risk country, should consider TB testing—especially if they are showing symptoms or not feeling well. Those who engage in high-risk behaviors (IV drug use, for example) or suffer from a weakened immune system are at additional risk for contracting TB. TB can also exist latent in the body, in which case the bacterium may be present without any associated symptoms.
What is the Typical Process for TB Testing?
TB testing is quick and easy at ConvenientMD, beginning with a small amount of tuberculin getting injected directly under the skin. The results are read and evaluated by a qualified professional 48 to 72 hours later. If tuberculosis is suspected, a chest x-ray may need required to help determine active or latent disease. You will then be referred back to your primary care provider and/or infectious disease specialist for treatment.
Tuberculosis is capable of progressing faster in children than in adults and may experience the disease in a more severe manner. Many children with pulmonary TB are asymptomatic. Treatment should be carefully observed in order to avoid complications from developing.