What is a Tuberculosis (TB) skin test?

The TB skin test is a method used to diagnose TB infection. A small needle is used to inject some testing material, called tuberculin, into the upper layers of the skin, usually done on the inside of the forearm. The person getting the test must return two to three days later to have the test site on the arm examined by a nurse or doctor. If there is a reaction on the arm, the size of the reaction is measured. A positive reaction, usually a small bump, means that the person probably has a TB infection. Other tests are needed to determine if the person has latent TB infection or active TB disease.

The Ottawa County Health Department offers TB skin testing to residents of Ottawa County. TB testing clinics are held every Wednesday from 3 to 4 pm. TB tests are read every Friday from 3 to 4 pm. No appointments are necessary. The cost for this test is $25 per test (the fee includes the administration of the test on Wednesday, and reading on Friday).

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1. What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
2. How is Tuberculosis (TB) spread?
3. What is a Tuberculosis (TB) skin test?