Tuberculosis, often simply called “TB” was the scourge of the 19th century. It is a bacterial infection that mostly affects the lungs but can spread to nearly every part of the body. Before the discovery of antibiotics it was often fatal. Fatality rates fell dramatically after the discovery of antibiotics in the 20th century but the disease still proved difficult to treat as the bacteria is capable of going into hiding within the body. It is possible to carry the infection dormant for decades only for it to re-emerge and cause serious damage to the lungs. TB is highly contagious and a patient with active disease is a serious public health risk!
Most people who become infected with tuberculosis don’t even know they are carrying the infection. A TB skin test can identify people who have been exposed to tuberculosis and who may be carrying the disease within their bodies.
There are a variety of symptoms of active tuberculosis disease as follows:
Children may have different symptoms than adults and are more likely to have disease that spreads outside the lungs to other parts of the body.
The test for tuberculosis is fairly simple. A protein is injected just under the surface of the skin which causes a reaction in patients who are infected with tuberculosis. The reaction is a slight temporary hardening of the skin at the site of the injection that lasts for a few days. Depending on the size of the reaction and risk factors for exposure to TB, we can determine the likilihood of being infected. If you test positive for TB, then we may need to do additional testing including a chest x-ray or blood tests. Testing positive for TB doesn’t mean you currently active disease but that you are at risk for developing the disease within your lifetime.
Most people who are instructed to get a TB skin test simply don’t know where to go. They either call their doctor’s office and wait weeks for an appointment (with expensive out of pocket co-pays) or end up in a long line at the health department. We at Code 3 feel that there should be an easy and convenient way to get a TB skin test without having to wait or pay a lot of money. Code 3 Urgent Care now offers TB skin testing for a flat price of $50. We do not accept insurance for this service and you will be expected to pay at the time we place the skin test. You will be instructed to return to Code 3 Urgent Care in 48-72 hours to have the skin test read by our qualified staff and we will provide you with your results and paperwork showing your status. If you need your TB skin test for your job, then we can arrange to send the results directly to your employer if desired. Getting a TB skin test has never been easier or more affordable!