As teachers, my husband and I are required to get tested for tuberculosis (TB). I never thought much about the test since it was required, until I had a questionable result right before my first year of teaching. After a day of receiving the arm-prick with a penned circle around it, my arm was slightly irritated at the injection site with a reddish haze within the doctor’s mark. It took a few doctors to read the irritated mark on my arm, which ended up being a false reaction, but it got me thinking that there has to be a more accurate way to test for TB.
It’s been over 8 years since I’ve had my last TB test, but I’m happy to see things are moving forward from the 110 year old way of testing. There is now a more accurate TB blood test that can be done at the same time as your annual physical and blood workup. You no longer have to make two appointments- one to get tested and another to check for a skin reaction, as you only need the blood draw during one visit.
Tuberculosis has always been one of those illnesses that scared me because an old teacher had shared his experience with the disease. He claimed to have caught it during his transport into the United States when he was a young child, and explained that it affects the lungs. While tuberculosis isn’t that easy to catch, it is still a prominent disease that is curable but infectious. With proper treatment, people can overcome the infection.
Now that the TB Blood Test is available, you can receive more accurate results that are no longer subjective. This is a game changer in the way doctors check for the infection, and can even help further prevent the spread of TB by giving infected people the immediate medical attention they need.