I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of DiMe Media for the TB Blood Test, but as always, all expressions are ours.
What do you know about Tuberculosis? Does the word scare you and yet you don’t know the warning signs like us? Tuberculosis continues to be a major health problem worldwide, with 30% infected, a new infection happening every 3 seconds, and every 21 seconds, someone dieing from it.
Tuberculosis – also referred to as latent TB – occurs when a person has the bacteria that cause tuberculosis in his or her body, but the bacteria are not causing any disease or symptoms.
We chatted with Dr. Yira Carrasquillo, a general practitioner in Puerto Rico, about what parents need to know about the disease.
5 Things You Should Know About Tuberculosis:
1- Even though there’s a lot of press coverage regarding pulmonary tuberculosis, there are different forms of the disease. Pulmonary tuberculosis is the most common type, which IS treatable.
2- In children, the meningeal is deadly and many times it can be active without even knowing it (appears as “silent”).
3- The BCG vaccine helps prevent meningea tuberculosis, even though some countries don’t use it anymore because it is an aerradicated disease – even though with the appearance of HIV, it’s an emergent disease.
4- Because tuberculosis is transmitted via air and once it is an active disease it’s treatable, the key to prevention is for family members of those diagnosed to get proper testing if they present symptoms.
5- Tuberculosis symptoms can include weight loss, loss of appetite, tiredness, consistent chest pain, hot flashes at night, bleeding while coughing and blood in saliva.
The new blood test – known as the “TB Blood Test” can simplify the process with more accurate results, and less time at the doctor’s office. Below is important information about the test.
5 Things You Should Know About the TB Blood Test:
1 – The test is more reliable than traditional skin tests for patients with latent tuberculosis who will soon progress to being active, especially in children.
2 – With the test, a tuberculin antigen is injected into the skin of the lower arm to cause an immune system response, another visit to the doctor is necessary after a few days. If you are infected with tuberculosis, a raised lump will develop where injected.
3 – A previous tuberculosis vaccination is likely to cause a false-positive result and you may also experience severe itching.
4 – Test results can be obtained within 24 hours and, if necessary, provided to you by telephone.
5 – You and your children may be tested if you: have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with TB, have recently come from a country with high levels of TB, have a reduced immune system and are starting certain types of medications.
Primary care physicians can and do make a huge difference in identifying and treating tuberculosis infection before it blossoms into active disease. Between 2000 and 2013, 37 million lives have been saved through identification of infection and treatment.
Now do your part to make sure you and your children are safe!
Have you or your child been diagnosed with tuberculosis? If so, please share your story in the comments below. We want to hear from you, as it may inspire other parents and prevent more of these cases.