We provide tuberculosis screening to detect and treat tuberculosis (TB for short).
Tuberculosis is a serious disease that attacks the lungs. It’s contagious and is carried through the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, spits, or even inadvertently spits out saliva by laughing or singing. In places where there are a lot of people with certain risk factors for TB, it can spread pretty easily.
Tuberculosis was a common cause of death in the past and is still epidemic in many developing countries.
Today, tuberculosis is treatable and can be identified through a tuberculosis test, which is most often done with a blood test that looks for tuberculosis bacteria. For younger patients under age five, we use a skin test that will provoke a mild reaction if the child has tuberculosis bacteria. The provider looks for a reaction — a hard, red bump — 48 to 72 hours later.
Who Should Get a TB Test?
There are certain risk factors for tuberculosis or TB infection.
- Being from or spending time in certain countries, particularly within the African continent, India, and other parts of Asia where TB is much more common
- Babies and young children, whose immune systems are still developing, are at greater risk.
- People who work or live in places where TB may be carried, such as hospitals, nursing care facilities, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities
- People with weak immune systems, including those with HIV/AIDS, patients who have had an organ transplant, chemotherapy patients, and patients receiving certain treatments for autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis
- People who inject illegal drugs are at risk, particularly if they share or reuse needles
Being from a certain ethnic, religious, or racial background does not put a person at risk, however, individual living circumstances, life choices, and health complications do.
People who live or otherwise have close contact with someone who has tested positive for TB should also be tested in an urgent care clinic.
For more information, reach out to Broadway Health.