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Old 07-17-2006, 08:44 PM   #9
Shaineinok's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oklahoma
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Re: TB testing, do you really need it?

Originally Posted by janelyb
I know what ya mean. I don't mind getting one at all. But what do they actually insert in your skin????
Here is what they do.
The tuberculosis (TB) skin test (also known as a PPD or Mantoux) is NOT a vaccine. The TB test is only designed to help diagnose those who have been infected with TB (most of whom are not sick and have no symptoms).

The TB test involves injecting a small amount of a protein from the bacterium under the skin on the forearm. There are no live bacteria in this injection, and it cannot cause any disease. The patient then returns in 48-72 hours to have their arm checked. If the body recognizes the protein (meaning infection with the TB bacterium has occurred), it will respond by causing a "bump" to appear around the injection site. The clinician will then measure how large this bump is. A small bump may be normal, while a larger bump almost always signifies infection - but not necessarily illness.

The only significant adverse reaction to this test is an abnormally large swelling in the forearm that may occur in those who have positive tests. This reaction is rare, and is usually treatable with cortisone type creams. On very rare occasions the reaction may lead to some of the skin dying and peeling off.

While there is no reason to suspect that the test would harm a developing fetus, pregnant women should probably postpone routine testing.

I have had it done years ago when I taught daycare. Its not painful at all just a little scratch. They test all school and preschoolers and teachers as its very contagious and easier to treat early rather than when its become a full blown case. Its rather more common in those of low income than upper incomes so the Head Start program is likely to insist the child get the test rather than allowing attendance without it.
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