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CDC issues Important info about TB exposure, explains tests here

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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-04-07 09:53 AM
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CDC issues Important info about TB exposure, explains tests here

The CDC warns that the information on the extensively drug resistant tuberculosis circulated in news media is not all accurate. The following is provided by the agency to correct the misinformation.

Many recent media stories have conveyed information or impressions regarding tuberculosis that are inaccurate, including information about how the disease is transmitted, how quickly people may become infected or show symptoms, and the contagiousness of the disease.

There are some other important characteristics of tuberculosis that need to be conveyed:

Only a person with active TB disease can spread TB bacteria to others.
Persons who have spent prolonged time with someone with active TB disease should get tested for TB infection. It usually takes prolonged exposure to someone with active TB disease for someone to become infected.
After exposure, it usually takes 8 to 10 weeks before the TB test would show if someone had become infected.
A person with a positive test for TB infection (i.e., latent TB infection) is not sick, and cannot spread TB germs to others. However, some of these persons can go on to develop TB disease, especially if their immune system is weak, for example, HIVinfected persons, persons with diabetes, or persons undergoing treatment for certain forms of cancer.

The CDC also provides the following advice for those who may get infected with the XDR TB on those two long flights.

What should a person do if they were on the Air France flight #385 / Delta flight 8517 on May 12 with the XDR TB patient?

They need to go to their doctor or local health department and request a TB evaluation, as well as contact their State TB Control Office. They should be evaluated for signs and symptoms of TB disease, and get a TB skin test or the QuantiFERONTB Gold blood test (QFT-G) to test for TB infection.

It can take 8 to 10 weeks after infection for a persons immune system to react to the TB skin test or QFT-G. It is important to get a TB test as soon as possible because people may already have latent TB infection, but are unaware since there are no signs and symptoms. The first test is needed to determine whether a person already had latent TB infection before this recent exposure. A person with latent TB is not infectious.

If a persons first test is negative, they will still need to get a second TB test 8 to 10 weeks following the flight date (i.e., the time of their last possible exposure to the patient) to determine if they may have been infected by the XDR TB patient. If the first test is positive, their doctor or nurse may do other tests to see if treatment is needed.

There is a lot of additional info at the CDC's TB website:
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