I admit, before I had my daughters tested for Tuberculosis (TB) I didn’t know enough. TB wasn’t something that crossed my mind, but as a mother, with four amazing children, I want to make certain I’m doing everything I can to protect them and keep them healthy. Which often means learning about not only the disease and ways we can help protect our children but the tests that are available for TB because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How much do you know about tuberculosis? Have you or your loved ones been tested for tuberculosis (TB)?
A person can be infected with TC, and it can remain inactive for weeks, months, and even years without a person showing symptoms or developing into an active and contagious disease. TB is known to infect the lunches, but can also affect other parts of the body like bones, eyes, brain, and lymph nodes.
What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
Tuberculosis, also known as TV is a highly contagious infectious disease that is airborne and caused by bacteria. The bacteria can be spread to another person when a TB infected person coughs, sneezes, or even something as little as speaking with people close enough to breathe it in. According to TheTBBloodTest.com about 30 percent of the world’s population is infected with Tuberculosis (TB).
TB is especially dangerous to people who have a compromised immune system – those with HIV and children. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot get TB. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that many people consider taking the TB blood tests, even including some who have been vaccinated. It’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about whether or not you and your family should be tested for TB.
Who should get tested for TB?
- Those who have spent time with someone infected with the TB disease
- People with a compromised immune system due to HIV or another medical issue
- Those who experience TB symptoms.
- Those from a country where the TB disease is common.
- Those who live or work in the US where the TB disease is more common.
- Those who use illegal drugs.
- Those who want to sleep well at night knowing they or their loved ones are infected with the TB disease.
How can I get tested for Tuberculosis?
I’m sure there are several of you who have taken a skin test for TB, which requires several visits to your doctor’s office and let’s just say they are not always accurate. Yes, tests can result in false positives, which is what has happened not only one but TWO of my children. Which I’m sure you can imagine scared the living daylights out of me. Getting a positive Tuberculosis test back is scary, and when it has to do with your children, it’s like your whole world just stops for a moment.
The first positive TB test we got back was horrible, the second wasn’t a walk in the park either, but after the first one I knew a lot more about TB and the skin test, so I guess I was a bit more prepared, if that’s possible. I don’t know what I would do without my husband because I FREAK OUT, and he has a way of keeping me calm down. In my mind, I’m wondering if she will ever recover. What is the treatment like? How in the world did this happen? What the long-term effects of TB are? My mind kept racing! It’s our job to protect our children and when you have to stand on the sidelines helpless, well it’s the worst feeling in the world.
Of course, we had to get follow-up tests, which is when we found out that her test results were a false positive. When I heard those words, it felt like 10,000 pounds has been lifted from my chest, and I could finally breathe again. Oh, and let’s not get started on everything they need to do to rule out TB after you’ve received a false positive. It’s crazy, and so hard to sit there and watch your child go through this while you just sit on the sidelines and pray everything is going to be okay. I am so thankful their tests ended up being false, but it’s frustrating too because come to find out it happens much more than we realize. Seriously, it’s horrible to think of so many people going through the same experience. I mean, I understand these things happen, but they shouldn’t happen so frequently.
Thankfully, there is now a better way to test for TB. There is now a TB blood test, which has been proven to be more accurate in identifying TB, especially in children, and it’s done in one visit. Plus, since the TB blood test is more accurate those who are affected can take drugs that can help your body to get rid of the inactive bacteria. Yes, it never becomes active and turns into the contagious disease.
We do everything we can to ensure our loved ones are safe, happy and comfortable, especially when it comes to our children. Sadly, we can’t always plan for the future. There is and always will be things that are out of our control. When we visit our health care provider or take a loved one we want the best, most reliable, and accurate care possible so we can spend more of our time doing the things we love and less time stressing things that we shouldn’t have to.
The TB blood test is a HUGE scientific advance over the 110-year-old skin tests. It provides us with more accurate and reliable results, which matters a whole lot to me, especially when my kids or loved ones are concerned.
The next time you visit your health care provider be sure to get information on the TB infection as well as the TB blood tests so you can feel confident you’re taking the steps needed to protect your family. You can also learn more about the TB blood test by visiting TheTBBloodTest.com.