Tuberculosis (TB) Program
Tuberculosis Skin Testing
Skin testing (PPD) for tuberculosis (TB) is available at the public health department. Testing is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday between noon and 4:30 p.m. by appointment. Clients receiving a TB test must return to the public health department within 48 to 72 hours to have the test results checked.
Cost for a TB test is currently $22 (subject to change). Medicaid can be billed for the cost of the test, otherwise the fee is due at the time of service. For more information on TB testing, please call the Immunization program at 231-724-1220.
Positive TB Test Results
Positive TB tests are reported to the client's health care provider for appropriate follow-up. A public health nurse is available for questions, education and guidance.
Active TB Disease Case Management Services
The public health department provides case management, treatment, direct observed therapy and contact investigation for clients diagnosed by their health care provider with active TB disease.
TB is a disease caused by the bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis (m. tuberculosis). The m. tuberculosis bacteria can infect any part of the body, but usually attacks the lungs. These germs contaminate the air when a disease infected person coughs or sneezes. For infection to occur, the germs must be inhaled into the lungs. Infection from inhaling the TB germs usually requires prolonged or frequent exposure to the bacteria.
Very few people actually get TB disease from such exposure. Symptoms of TB disease can include a bad cough lasting longer than 2 weeks, coughing up blood or sputum, pain in the chest, night sweating, weakness or fatigues, weight loss, no appetite, fever, and chills. If you are experiencing such symptoms, notify your medical provider.
Latent TB Infection (LTBI)
Most persons who are exposed to TB over time and become infected develop what is called Latent TB Infection (LTBI). In LTBI, the body's immune cells surround the TB bacteria and prevent germs from multiplying. The immune cells keep these germs in a latent, dormant, sleeping state, thus the name. A person who has LTBI, is not sick or contagious, in fact most people are not even aware that they even have latent TB until they have a TB test done and the results are positive.
Nine out of ten individuals with LTBI will remain healthy but one in ten will likely develop TB disease. Individuals with weakened immune systems due to health conditions or medications have an even greater chance of developing TB disease. Antibiotic medication can significantly lower this chance. Because of this, it is important to have all positive TB tests evaluated by a health care provider.
For more information, call 231-724-4421.