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Tuberculosis Screening - Topic Overview

All cases of tuberculosis (TB) are reported to the local or state health department, because the disease can spread to others and cause outbreaks. Major health authorities keep track of TB outbreaks and encourage early testing for people who are at risk for the disease.

The CDC recommends TB testing for people who:1

Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems

Understanding Tuberculosis -- Symptoms

The symptoms of tuberculosis range from no symptoms (latent tuberculosis) to symptoms of active disease. In fact, you may not even be aware that you have a latent TB infection until it's revealed through a skin test, perhaps during a routine checkup.  If you have active TB disease, you may have these symptoms: Overall sensation of feeling unwell Cough, possibly with bloody mucus Fatigue Shortness of breath Weight loss Slight fever Night sweats Pain in the chest  

Read the Understanding Tuberculosis -- Symptoms article > >

  • Have a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or another condition that puts them at risk for TB.
  • Spend a lot of time with a person who has active TB disease, which can be spread to others.
  • Have symptoms of tuberculosis.
  • Inject illegal drugs.
  • Were born in parts of the world where tuberculosis is common, such as Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia.
  • Live or work in nursing homes, homeless shelters, migrant farm camps, prisons, or jails.

People who have a high risk for developing TB usually have a skin test (tuberculin test) on a regular basis. Health professionals often are given a tuberculin skin test when they begin work in a hospital or nursing home, with retesting every 6 to 12 months.

For more information, see the topic Tuberculosis.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 04, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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