What to Know about Tuberculosis Testing for Your Children

(StatePoint) Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious, highly contagious disease that kills about 1.5 million people each year worldwide and has become the world’s leading infectious disease killer, according to a new report from the World Health Organization.

TB usually begins as a latent infection, which can be silent for weeks, months or years before developing into an active contagious disease characterized by chronic cough, fever, unexplained weight loss, night sweats and coughing up blood. With this in mind, regular testing for the early stage of TB infection is important, especially in children whose immune systems are not fully developed and thereby have a higher risk of it progressing into an active and possibly deadly disease.

However, “inaccurate,” “time-consuming” and “outdated” are the three terms most often used to describe the 110-year-old TB skin test, which is the most commonly used test to aid in the diagnosis of the infection. The TB skin test requires an injection of antigens to see how the patient’s body reacts, multiple doctors’ visits and can result in false positives, especially in those who have been vaccinated for TB in the past.

Luckily another option for the detection of TB infection — a TB Blood Test — is now being offered and represents a major scientific advance over its predecessor, giving greater accuracy and a more dependable result.

Reliable results from the TB Blood Test can be obtained within 24 hours and provided by telephone, offering the convenience of a single visit, and confidence in an objective, laboratory-based result. More information can be found at www.TheTBBloodTest.com.

As a parent or caretaker, your children and loved ones come first, and when it comes to their health, you don’t want any surprises. Talk to your doctor about better testing methods for TB infection that offer greater reliability and convenience.

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