Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of DiMe Media for the TB Blood Test.
Tuberculosis testing is an important part of children’s healthcare. That’s because tuberculosis can lie dormant in the body for long periods of time before any symptoms are seen. With tuberculosis testing, we can protect our children by finding out if they have the bacteria BEFORE symptoms start, which means our kids stay healthy and safe.
Tuberculosis Testing – Why It’s so Important
TB infection, or latent TB, can be present in our children’s bodies without any disease or clinical symptoms present, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It just means that it could be inside them, waiting to explode into sickness like a ticking time bomb. It’s usually chronic and silent before it strikes, and it can be inside our kids for years before becoming that active tuberculosis disease! That’s why it’s so important to have kids aged 5 to 18 tested – to stop TB before it starts.
Once active TB is a highly contagious, airborne infectious disease that most often affects the lungs but can also infect lymph nodes, bones, the brain, the organs, and the eyes. It’s a serious disease that kills about 1.5 million people every year across the globe. Symptoms include chronic cough, fever, unexplained weight loss, and in severe cases, night sweats and coughing up blood. That’s why tuberculosis testing is so important. It helps determine who is at risk of developing full blown tuberculosis.
It’s even more important to have your kids tested if your family has been in contact with anyone who’s been diagnosed with TB, recently traveled to a country with a high TB rate, you have an impaired immune system, or are starting certain medications.
It’s so important. 30% of humans worldwide are infected with TB, and a new infection happens every 3 seconds. Every 21 seconds someone dies from it! However, tuberculosis testing and primary care physicians have a major impact on the disease. In fact, between 2000 and 2013, 37 million lives were saved through testing and treatment.
How Tuberculosis Testing Works
Traditionally, TB testing has been down with a skin test in which tuberculin antigen is injected into the skin to cause an immune system response. A few days after the initial injection, the doctor would check the site for a raised lump, the sign of TB bacteria being present in the body. The problem with this test is that previous TB vaccination can result in a false positive. It can also cause extremely uncomfortable itching at the site. It’s not a method that spells success for kids.
There’s a new method of tuberculosis testing now. It’s a tuberculosis blood test. It’s the only method of testing available with completely objective results. Meaning, no one has to look at it and determine if it LOOKS like TB is present. There’s a yes or no answer right there in the blood. One of the best parts of this testing is that it can be used in place of skin testing in every way.
All this new method of tuberculosis testing takes is a small blood sample. There’s also no return visit to the doctor required. You simply go in, get a blood draw, and receive an accurate TB diagnosis. In fact, the CDC, or US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has updated its guidelines for testing and now recommend this type of tuberculosis testing because of its accuracy. Its accuracy and ease of testing also makes it the perfect way to test the kids, because the discomfort is minimal.
TB Blood Test is the easiest and most accurate method of tuberculosis testing available. When the CDC recommends it, you know it’s the way to go. By using a blood draw for tuberculosis testing, we are provided with fast, objective, and accurate results which means we can get in, get out, and get on with our lives. If you think you may have been exposed to TB or you’re experiencing any TB symptoms, get to your doctor immediately and get tested. And remember to get your children tested for TB whether they are at risk or not. Tuberculosis testing saves lives.
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