Tuberculosis Confirmed in the Kansas City Metro – Get Your TB Test Today

US tuberculosis rates have been declining since 1992, but that doesn’t mean parents should be complacent, particularly in the Kansas City area.

Olathe Northwest High School has 27 confirmed positive tuberculosis tests — 8% of the students and staff. Though none of the individuals with a positive TB test are symptomatic at this time, they are being treated and monitored for signs of the disease, since their latent TB could turn into active TB at any time, spreading the disease.

Here’s what you should know about tuberculosis, and why we recommend getting a TB test today.

Tuberculosis is in the KC Metro – Here’s Why You Need a TB Test

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis, more commonly called TB, is an infection that often spreads in the lungs (pulmonary TB) and other bodily areas rich in oxygen and blood (extrapulmonary TB).

Although a person can have a positive TB test without being contagious — this is known as latent TB — once TB is TB Testactive, it is spread easily, through the very air we breathe. When someone with active TB breathes out air infected by TB bacteria, others breathe in the bacteria in the air. More bacteria is released by coughing, talking, laughing, or singing.

Symptoms of TB include:

  • Cough accompanied by cloudy, thick, at times bloody mucus
  • Chills, fever, or night sweats
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Appetite loss or sudden weight loss
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath

When left untreated, tuberculosis can lead to a range of medical problems, including joint damage, spinal pain, meningitis, kidney or liver issues, and heart problems. It can even prove fatal.

How will a TB test help?

Since TB symptoms appear in the lungs and start to gradually develop over time, it’s possible for you to have TB without knowing. 1-2 mild symptoms can occur, so you could be walking around with tuberculosis and not even realize that you’re spreading the disease!

That’s where a TB test comes in. Visit Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park today and we can conduct a TB test to see if you have a latent or active TB infection. We offer two types of TB testing:

  • TB skin test: a small volume of fluid, called tuberculin, is injected into the lower part of the arm. After 48-72 hours, the tested individual returns and we examine the arm for a reaction, marked by a hard, raised area or swelling. If a reaction is present, it is measured. Depending on the size of the reaction and the risk of TB infection, your TB test result will be positive (requiring further TB testing to determine if infection is latent or active so appropriate treatment can be pursued) or negative (no reaction, so latent or active TB infection is unlikely).
  • TB blood test: We use the QuantiFERON®–TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT) to measure your immune system’s reaction to TB-causing bacteria. A positive test indicates TB infection, but additional testing is necessary to determine if it is latent or active. A negative result indicates no latent or active TB infection.

The sooner you are aware of your TB infection, the sooner you can pursue treatment and get better — meaning your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and community will be better protected. The best part? We don’t require doctor’s orders, insurance, or appointments, which means no waiting in a germ-filled room where you’re more likely to get infected.

Call (913) 815-0988 today to learn more about getting a TB test at Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park.


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