TB Testing

TB Testing Clinic in Wyomissing, Reading, PA

TB testing is available. TB affects the lungs and is an infectious disease. At Safe Care Express, our team of healthcare professionals offer TB testing. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment.

TB Testing Clinic Near Me in Wyomissing, Reading, PA
TB Testing Clinic Near Me in Wyomissing, Reading, PA

Table of Contents:

What tests are done to confirm TB?
What happens if you have a TB test that is positive?
What are the 3 types of tuberculosis?

What tests are done to confirm TB?


Tuberculosis, or TB for short, is an infectious disease that can be potentially serious, primarily affecting the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person through droplets containing the bacteria that are released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. While not a common disease, it is still one of concern in the United States. There are several test options to determine if a person has TB. Your doctor will want to first and foremost perform a physical exam, including a check for swelling of the lymph nodes and listening to the lungs through a stethoscope. From there, the most common test used to test for TB is typically a skin test where a substance called tuberculin is injected on the inside of your forearm, below the skin. Within 72 hours, the spot will need to be checked by a health care professional; if there is a red, hard lump, it is an indication that you likely have TB.

Additional tests may be needed to confirm if the patient does have TB. A blood test can be used to determine the presence of latent or active tuberculosis, and how your immune system reacts to the TB bacteria. A chest x-ray or CT scan may also be requested to check the lungs for signs of TB. The final test that can be performed is a sputum test, in which the mucus that is expelled from coughing is tested for the presence of TB bacteria. This test is also used to help your doctor to determine which medications to prescribe, as it can reveal strains of TB that are resistant to certain medications.

What happens if you have a TB test that is positive?


Active TB requires treatment as patients will be exhibiting symptoms and are able to pass the disease on to other people. A course of antibiotics to treat active TB can run for six months up to nine months. The length of your treatment and the types of medications used to treat active TB will be dependent on where in the body the infection is, your age, any possible drug resistance, and your overall health. Unlike with some other types of infections that take a matter of days to no longer be contagious, TB takes a few weeks of treatment to no longer be contagious. Your doctor will start you on medication right away if you test positive for TB, but you will need to follow additional steps to prevent spreading the bacteria to people around you.

Patients will need to stay home from any activities and keep their distance from other people in the house for the first few weeks. Keep the room where you sleep and other rooms that you spend time in well ventilated by opening the windows and using fans to move the air in the room outside. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough, laugh or sneeze, then make sure you seal the tissue into a plastic bag and dispose of it right away. If avoiding other people is impossible for the first few weeks of treatment, wear a face mask to reduce the likelihood of spreading bacteria.

What are the 3 types of tuberculosis?


There are many different types of tuberculosis, although the 2 main types are pulmonary TB and extrapulmonary TB. With both types, TB can either be active or latent. Latent TB refers to bacteria that are living inside of the body in a dormant state, meaning it isn’t causing any symptoms and is not contagious. Active TB causes symptoms and is highly contagious, requiring medical care and treatment. Latent TB doesn’t require treatment; however, your doctor may recommend it as a preventative measure. Pulmonary TB refers to an active case of TB that is affecting the lungs and is the most common type of TB that people think of. Many of the symptoms of pulmonary TB involve coughing and it is spread through exhalations of air from an infected person, with the bacteria remaining in the air for several hours. Extrapulmonary TB affects any part of the body outside of the lungs, including the organs and bones.

Symptoms will vary depending on which area of the body is affected. If you suspect that you may have TB, it is important to seek out medical attention immediately. At Safe Care Urgent Care we offer testing and treatment for TB to patients of all ages, so reach out to us today. Call us for more information and to book an appointment.  We serve patients from Reading PA, Wyomissing PA, Shillington PA, Sinking Spring PA, Reiffton PA, Laureldale PA, and Temple PA.