If you need to be screened for tuberculosis (TB) for a new job or to participate in a certain activity, we invite you to see us at University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX. In the spirit of keeping everyone healthy, screening for TB can prevent the unnecessary spread of this contagious disease and germs. TB is an airborne bacteria (Mycobacterium) that may be contracted from someone with TB that starts in the lungs. It can quickly spread to other areas (your brain, spine, or kidneys). When you are tested for TB, you can have one of three results:
- Positive (latent)
- Positive (active)
You may have TB and not know it because it is in a latent (or inactive) state within your body. Once you test positive for TB, you will be a carrier, even when you do not have an active infection. TB can be treated, but knowing that you have TB in time for treatment is very important. We can provide you with TB screenings with a simple skin test and read it within 42 – 72 hours after your initial test. We look forward to helping you get the testing you need to live a healthy life.
WHEN YOU NEED A TB TEST
At your visit to University Urgent Care, we will take you to a room for your privacy for the testing. You can expect that we will ask questions about your medical history, risks to exposures, your recent travels, and more to help determine your TB status. Also, if you were not born in the United States, you may have had other types of vaccinations (such as Bacille Calmette-Guèrin — or BCG) that show as TB positive in this screen. People who are a higher risk for TB exposure are men and women who:
- Have been in close proximity to someone with TB
- Knows there was an exposure to TB
- Are HIV+ (if you are unsure if you are HIV+, we encourage you to get tested)
- Are diabetic or any medical condition that suppresses the immune system
- Work with special populations (such as daycare centers, homeless shelters, prisons, rehabilitation centers, medical facilities, drug treatment programs, and more)
- Use illegal drugs
- Do not have proper access to medical treatment
The symptoms of TB may feel like other conditions, like the flu. With TB, you will feel worn down, drop weight for no reason, have a fever, or often wake in the night in a sweat. More advanced TB symptoms in the lungs also present as chest cold (cough, chest pain, congestion, and mucus buildup); however, you would also be coughing up blood.
When you visit University Urgent Care for your TB testing, we will take you into a private room to administer a skin test with purified protein derivative (or PPD). The PPD in your skin can indicate whether or not you have been exposed. It is performed with an ultra-fine needle that will be inserted shallowly right under your skin. The PPD will cause a reaction in your skin if you have had exposure to TB. This test cannot be read right away. We will schedule you a follow-up visit after at least 42 hours post-injection for your test reading and results.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You will need to come back to University Urgent Care in 2 – 3 days or (no more than 72 hours) after your first TB testing visit to have your skin read. We will document the result for you. Your results may be positive or negative for a skin reaction to the PPD.
If you have a negative result: Your skin will not have a welt. It may present as a small bump (about the size of a mosquito bite). We will document your result and send you on your way.
If you have a positive result: Your skin will have a welt present at the injection site. The size (5 mm – 15 mm) of the welt can help our practitioner or medical assistant determine your level of risk. The positive result will also be documented as a TB exposure but will require some follow-up testing to see if you have an active TB infection. At University Urgent Care, we can provide you with an x-ray of your chest and/or send a sample of the mucus from your lungs (phlegm) to an off-site laboratory.
Sometimes, there are false positive results with this type of testing. If you do test positive, this is not a definitive answer. You may want to talk to your primary care physician about this result as well.
GET YOUR TB TEST TODAY
If you need to have a TB test for employment screening or for any other reason, you can come into University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX for it. We welcome you to walk in for an appointment or call ahead and schedule a time to have the test administered. Within 42 – 72 hours of your TB test, we will have you back for a quick skin test reading. Your time is important to us, too.