Tuberculosis Testing Clinic Questions and Answers
Do you have symptoms of tuberculosis? Come to Family Medicine Healthcare in Chesapeake, VA for a professional medical evaluation. We can help diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan unique for your needs. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
Tuberculosis (TB) was once the leading cause of death in the United States until scientists discovered several medicines that have proven to be highly effective at slowing the rate of infection and minimizing the effects of the disease. While TB does not pose the same threat that it once did, it is still a serious illness that should not be taken lightly. At Family Medicine Healthcare, our medical doctors and healthcare professionals can provide excellent TB testing and treatment to you if you are in need of either!
Tuberculosis can be confirmed through a TB skin test, also known as the Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST), or a TB blood test, known medically as an interferon-gamma release assay (IRGA) test.
A TB skin test will require two visits to an urgent care or primary care clinic. At the initial visit, the patient will be asked to sit down and turn the inner side of their forearm up. The medical provider will then clean and dry the skin area that will be tested before administering a small injection of the TB antigen or tuberculin fluid into the top layer of the skin. A small bump will appear at the injection site. After the injection, the patient will need to return to the clinic within 48 to 72 hours so that a medical professional can examine the area for any reaction or lack thereof that would indicate either a positive or negative TB infection.
With a TB blood test, a medical provider will draw a small amount of blood from the patient’s arm. The vial of blood that is collected will then be sent to a lab or analyzed at an on-site laboratory to check for the presence of a latent or active TB infection.
If you receive a positive result from a TB test, some other tests may be required to see if you have TB disease. Such tests could involve a chest x-ray, sputum culture, or a urinalysis. If you are also found to have TB disease, your doctor will prescribe you medication to treat the disease. Common medications used to treat TB disease include ethambutol (EMB), isoniazid (INH), pyrazinamide (PZA), and rifampin (RIF). After starting the medication, you will need to self-isolate until you are no longer contagious so that you do not spread TB bacteria. If you take the TB medicine as prescribed, it should completely kill the TB bacteria.
The three types of tuberculosis are known as active TB, miliary TB, and latent TB.
With active TB, the TB bacteria are quickly multiplying and infecting various organs in the body. Active TB can be spread through airborne transmission when TB particles are coughed into the air. Symptoms of active TB include chest pain, chills, fever, productive cough, sweating at night, weakness, and weight loss.
Miliary TB is a rare form of active TB that occurs when the TB bacteria enters the bloodstream, causing rapid effects throughout the body. This type of TB is often fatal.
Latent TB occurs in individuals who are infected with TB bacteria but do not show any signs of TB disease and are not contagious. This type of TB is typically only discovered after a TB skin test or TB blood test.
If you require tuberculosis testing, we would be happy to provide that for you at Family Medicine Healthcare! For an appointment, please feel free to call us, schedule one through our website, or visit our clinic at 3925 Portsmouth Blvd in Chesapeake, VA, for a walk-in appointment.
We serve patients from Chesapeake VA, Portsmouth VA, Norfolk VA, Suffolk VA, Virginia Beach VA, and Hampton VA.