Urgent Care for TB Test in El Cajon, CA
A TB test is conducted to determine whether you have been exposed to the bacteria responsible for causing TB. Learn more about the benefits of TB testing and how our team of healthcare professionals will help keep your health in check at all times! Comprehensive TB testing is available at East County Urgent Care. For more information, contact us to book a visit, or simply walk-in and see us! We are conveniently located at 1625 E Main St # 100, El Cajon, CA 92021.
Table of Contents:
Tuberculosis (TB) is a severe respiratory condition primarily affecting the lungs, caused by a particular strain of bacteria. The transmission of TB occurs when an individual with the illness coughs, sneezes, or even sings, releasing minuscule droplets carrying the bacteria into the air. Subsequently, another person can inhale these droplets, allowing the bacteria to enter their lungs.
The contagion of TB is more prevalent in densely populated areas or situations where people congregate in crowds. Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, face a heightened risk of contracting TB compared to those with typical immune functions.
TB is primarily transmitted through airborne means, particularly when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Additionally, it can reactivate in someone previously exposed but without an active infection. While close contact with symptomatic individuals can result in the spread of active TB, some individuals carry TB in their system without manifesting symptoms (latent TB), which isn’t contagious but can potentially progress to active TB in the future.
A TB test is conducted to determine whether you have been exposed to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, the bacteria responsible for causing TB. Two distinct methods are employed to screen for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI): the TB skin test and the TB blood test.
Both forms of TB tests, including the skin test and blood test, function by gauging your immune system’s response to antigens extracted from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium, which causes TB. Antigens are substances that trigger your immune system to generate antibodies as a defense mechanism. This denotes that your immune system encounters an unfamiliar element and is striving to counteract it.
The mechanism behind a TB skin test entails evaluating your immune system’s reaction to a purified protein derivative (PPD) solution that is injected beneath your skin. PPD is a protein derived from the TB-causing bacteria. It’s important to note that this isn’t live bacteria and won’t cause illness.
If you’ve previously been exposed to TB bacteria, your skin will exhibit a response to the antigens, manifesting as a solid, red bump at the injection site within three days.
Conversely, a TB blood test involves laboratory scientists blending your blood sample with antigens and controls, then employing an immunoassay method to gauge the reaction. Your results will be interpreted as negative, positive, or indeterminate based on this reaction.
The duration of a TB test depends on the type you opt for: either the skin test or the blood test. For a TB skin test, the process necessitates two to three appointments with a healthcare professional. In the initial visit, a fluid is injected into your arm. During the subsequent visit, your skin’s reaction to the injection is evaluated. If the results remain negative, a third visit (after 72 hours) becomes necessary.
In contrast, the blood test is a brief procedure lasting only a few minutes. After a healthcare provider collects your blood sample, it is sent to a laboratory for analysis. Once the test outcomes are available, your healthcare provider will communicate the results to you.
The outcomes of both TB skin tests and blood tests fall into two categories: negative or positive. If your TB skin test or blood test yields a positive outcome, it generally signifies exposure to the bacterium responsible for TB.
In such a scenario, your healthcare provider is likely to order additional tests to facilitate an accurate diagnosis. Procedures used for diagnosing active TB infections encompass chest X-rays and laboratory assessments of a sputum sample, which is the dense mucus you expel through coughing from your lungs. Regardless of whether your TB is latent or active, appropriate treatment will be recommended.
TB testing is available at East County Urgent Care. We serve patients from El Cajon CA, Wells Park CA, Rancho San Diego CA, Hillsdale CA, Alpine CA, Santee CA, Jamul CA, and BEYOND.
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