Sunset Urgent Care Medical Center
Isidore Kwaw, MD
Internal Medicine - Primary Care and Urgent Care Center located in Pacific Palisades, CA
Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially dangerous infection that affects lung function. At Sunset Urgent Care Medical Center in Palisades, California, Isidore Kwaw, MD, tests for tuberculosis through a quick skin test. If you’ve been exposed to TB or experience symptoms of this serious infection, a TB shot can help determine whether you have it. To learn more about TB shots, call Sunset Urgent Care Medical Center, or schedule an appointment online today.
TB Shots Q&A
What are TB shots?
The TB shot is a skin test for tuberculosis, an infection that spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Tuberculosis is rare in the United States, and your immune system can typically protect you against the infection.
Although there is a vaccine for tuberculosis, it’s more widely used in countries where the infection is prevalent. In the US, physicians only recommend the TB vaccine in rare cases. If a child lives with someone who has active TB and that person cannot take antibiotics or has a strain resistant to antibiotics, then they may qualify for the TB vaccine.
Instead, Dr. Kwaw performs a skin test called the Mantoux tuberculin skin test to determine whether you have TB germs in your body. If your test is positive, he creates a treatment protocol to prevent your infection from turning into active tuberculosis.
Who needs TB shots?
Dr. Kwaw encourages you to schedule a TB shot right away if you’ve recently been exposed to a known case of tuberculosis. Other signs that you may need TB shots include:
- Night sweats
- Cough that lasts more than three weeks
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
Though you can contract tuberculosis anywhere, traveling abroad is one of the most common risk factors for this infection. Africa, Russia, Asia, and Eastern Europe are just a few places where TB is prevalent. You’re also at a higher risk of contracting TB if you have impaired immunity from diabetes, HIV, and other chronic conditions.
What happens during TB shots?
TB shots require two visits to Sunset Urgent Care. During your first appointment, Dr. Kwaw injects a small amount of tuberculin just below the top layer of your skin in your forearm. Tuberculin is an inactive form of TB proteins that can trigger a reaction in your skin once injected.
It takes about two to three days to garner a reaction from the TB test. If you have a positive result, then there should be a hard, raised bump on your forearm. If you don’t have a reaction, then your test is negative.
What happens after TB shots?
A positive TB test means you have tuberculosis germs in your body, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate active TB. To determine the severity of your infection, Dr. Kwaw may recommend additional testing, such as a blood test or chest X-ray, to confirm your results.
Treating tuberculosis takes far longer than other infections, but following your treatment protocol is essential for overcoming TB. Most patients need to take antibiotics for at least six to nine months after testing positive for TB. You should also protect your family and friends from the infection by limiting contact and wearing a surgical mask when you’re in public.
For more information on TB shots, call Sunset Urgent Care Medical Center, or schedule an appointment online today.