Quick TB Testing in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Lakeville, Seekonk and Wareham, MA
TB testing screens people for tuberculosis (TB) infection. It’s possible to have a TB infection without it causing symptoms (known as latent TB). In some people, it progresses to active TB disease with symptoms. People with symptoms are contagious. Identifying latent TB infection allows doctors to treat it and prevent active disease from developing and spreading to other people.
If you have symptoms of tuberculosis (such as a cough, weight loss and fever) or need to get a TB test in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Lakeville, Seekonk or Wareham, MA, come to Southcoast Health for urgent care and more.
Types of TB Tests Offered at Southcoast Health Urgent Care Center
There are two types of TB testing that we offer:
- Tuberculin skin test (TST) involves injecting a small amount of fluid under the skin. The fluid contains tuberculin purified protein derivative, or PPD.
- TB blood tests involve collecting a blood sample and testing it in a lab.
Reasons for TB Testing
Not everyone needs TB testing. However, it is useful in people at high risk of developing TB infection, including:
- People with symptoms of TB, such as night sweats, cough, fever and weight loss
- People who have been close to someone with TB disease
- People who live or work in environments where TB is common, such as homeless shelters, jails, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities
- People considering the use of biologic immune modifying drugs, such as for rheumatoid arthritis
- People with an already weakened immune system, such as those with HIV
- People who use illegal drugs
- People from a country where TB is common or who have lived in that country for an extended time
You may also undergo TB testing when you start a new school, college or job.
Risks & Complications
There are very few risks with TB testing because it doesn’t use live bacteria. It’s possible to experience the following:
- Allergic reactions
- Pain at the needle site
- Scarring from strongly positive reactions
What to Expect with a TB Test
No preparation is necessary for TB testing. You can get a TB test at your nearest Southcoast Health Urgent Care Center and in other professional medical settings.
For the TST, you will return to your healthcare provider in 48 to 72 hours. Your provider will check for a red, raised or hard area and measure the size of it. A positive test means you have TB bacteria. More tests will determine whether it is latent TB or active TB disease.
For the TB blood test, your healthcare provider will review the lab results with you. If your blood reacted to the test, it is positive. This means you have TB bacteria, but need more testing to determine if it’s latent or active.
Southcoast Health provides urgent care and TB tests for patients across southeastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island at our centers in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Lakeville, Seekonk and Wareham, MA.