Tuberculosis Testing, Poquoson, VA
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What Types of Tuberculosis (TB) Tests Are Available?
There are two types of tests for a Tuberculosis (TB) infection: the TB skin test and the TB blood test. Typically, a person’s health care provider should indicate which TB test to use. There are certain factors involved in selecting which test to use which include the reason for testing, test availability, and cost. Generally, it is not recommended to test a person with both a TB skin test and a TB blood test.
Tuberculosis (TB) Skin Test in Poquoson, VA
The TB skin test is performed by injecting a small amount of fluid (called tuberculin) into the skin on the lower are of the arm. A person given the tuberculin skin test must return within 48 to 72 hours to have a trained health care worker look for a reaction on the arm.
The result depends on the size of the raised, hard area or swelling.
Positive Result: This means the person’s body was infected with TB bacteria. Additional tests are needed to determine if the person has latent TB infection or TB disease.
Negative Result: This means the person’s body did not react to the test, and that latent TB infection or TB disease is not likely.
If an additional TB test is needed, the additional test should be placed in a different location on the body (e.g., other arm).
The TB skin test is the preferred TB test for children under the age of five.
Tuberculosis (TB) Blood Test in Poquoson, VA
TB blood tests are also called interferon-gamma release assays or IGRAs. There are two TB blood tests are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are available in the United States: the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) and the T-SPOT®.TB test (T-Spot).
This specific TB test would need to be ordered by a health care provider and will require a blood draw and send it to a laboratory for analysis and results.
Positive TB blood test result: This result means that the person has been infected with TB bacteria and additional tests are needed to determine if the person has latent TB infection or TB disease.
Negative TB blood test result: This result means that the person’s blood did not react to the test and that latent TB infection or TB disease is not likely.
TB blood tests are the preferred TB test for:
People who have received the TB vaccine bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG).
People who have a difficult time returning for a second appointment to look for a reaction to the TST.
What is Tuberculosis Testing?
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). This specific bacterium, or germ, typically attacks the lungs. TB germs can attack any part of the body, such as the kidney, spine, or brain and is often spread through the air from person to person.
TB germs are spread into the air when a person with the infectious TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these TB germs and become infected. When a person inhales in TB germs, these germs can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, the TB germs can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine, or brain.
What are the symptoms of Tuberculosis?
Symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the Tuberculosis germs are growing. TB disease in the lungs may cause the following symptoms:
- Cough (lasting longer than 3 weeks)
- Coughing up sputum (phlegm from inside the lungs) or blood
- Chest pain
- Night Sweats
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness or fatigue
- Weight loss
A person may have TB disease in other parts of the body which may include the following symptoms:
- TB of the kidney may cause blood in the urine.
- TB meningitis may cause headache or confusion.
- TB of the spine may cause back pain.
- TB of the larynx may cause hoarseness.
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