Public Health can assist in testing you for a few diseases that have some difficult signs to diagnose or a test that may be required by an employer to get before you can become their employee. One particular test is PPD, or purified protein derivative. This test is performed to identify if you have tuberculosis. TB is the more common name.
TB is a contagious disease that is spread from person to person through the air. Some symptoms include fever, tiredness, chest pain, and coughing, sometimes coughing up blood. The test is simple but must be completed in two visits to the clinic. It is placed just inside your arm with a small injection that stays near the skin causing a temporary bump. The second visit must be scheduled at least 48 hours from the first visit and is simply for the nurse to look to see if you had a reaction to the injection.
Yearly PPD tests, which you may hear them called Mantoux test or tuberculosis test, are a must for all healthcare workers or those going into the healthcare field. This is because health care workers have a higher chance of getting into contact with another person that has active TB.
There are two categories of tuberculosis: latent and active. Latent TB means the germs are in the body, but the person is not showing signs of sickness and they are not considered sick and contagious. Active TB means the person is sick with the germ and is showing signs or symptoms of the disease. This disease can be treated by your doctor if you are tested and follow all the care instructions, but it can be deadly if not treated.
Protecting yourself if you are in contact with someone that you know has TB is the best defense. It’s recommended to use a mask, or respiratory protection, if you are unsure if a person has TB and when around anyone who is showing signs of being sick or coughing. Being safe is better than being sick.
Each year, health care workers recognize World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24
th to raise public awareness about the health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the worldwide spread of TB. This date marks the day in 1882, when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB. This opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this difficult disease. To this day, for those who have not been treated by a doctor, TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer.
Trinity Muscatine Public Health is here to help with PPD testing needs. Appointments can be scheduled at our office by calling (563) 263-0122. Our highly skilled staff can also provide you clear education and direction for any questions you may have on TB and understanding your risks.