We are happy to announce that beginning in February we will be increasing the number of days we offer screening and testing for tuberculosis to Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 9:00-11:00 in the morning and from 1:00-3:00 in the afternoon. We will accept walk-ins for screening letters and skin tests (sometimes called a TST or PPD). Patients who need a blood test (T-spot) will still need to schedule appointments so we can ensure the sample reaches the lab in a timely manner.
What’s the difference between these types of screenings and tests?
To get a Screening Letter, you will fill out a form with questions about your health and travel history. A nurse will review your form, and if you do not have any symptoms or certain risk factors you will get a signed letter from the health department saying that you can be considered free of active tuberculosis. If you do have symptoms or if you are at high risk due to travel or medical history you may need to get either a skin or blood test.
A Skin Test is done by injecting a small amount of fluid under the skin of your inner forearm. This creates a bubble which should disappear within 48-72 hours. You will have to come back to the health department 3 days after your test to have a nurse look at your arm and check for a reaction.
Blood Tests are usually done for people who have been vaccinated for TB or who have had a reaction to a previous skin test. A nurse will take a sample of your blood and sending it to a lab for testing, and you will get the results in about a week.
Click here for more information from the Center for Disease Control, including the difference between latent and active TB and how TB is treated.