TestingTuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.(1)
Individuals that are as risk for TB exposure are those in the healthcare field, those that work with individuals at risk for TB, and those that travel to areas with high levels TB infection in the population.
Denver Travel Medicine Clinic does administer TB skin tests (also known as PPD / purified protein derivative test). This test involves injecting a very small amount of PPD under the skin (usually the forearm) followed by a reading 48-72 after administration to see if there is any reaction. If a rash develops, that may indicated that the individual tested may have been exposed to TB.
If necessary, our providers at Denver Travel Medicine Clinic can also order the QuantiFERON -TB Gold test or a chest xray to further screen or evaluated for tuberculosis.