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Old 10-17-2009, 10:38 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
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davikj3 HB User
HELP! Result for TB skin test was negative, but...

I had my TB skin test read yesterday. I had a painful, firm .5mm bump. So it was negative, but I still had a reaction. The doctor said I had been exposed to TB because I reacted. Then can I spread it? I live with my dad who has really bad COPD, so I'm terrified of giving it to him or my best friend's newborn. Please help.

Last edited by davikj3; 10-17-2009 at 11:50 AM.

Old 11-05-2009, 06:09 PM   #2
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harka HB Userharka HB Userharka HB Userharka HB Userharka HB Userharka HB Userharka HB Userharka HB User
Re: HELP! Result for TB skin test was negative, but...

The fact that you reacted does NOT mean you were exposed to TB. That is the whole point of doing the test. For a person with no risk factors and is not a health care worker, a 15 (fifteen) mm test is positive. Additionally, it's not redness that's positive, it's induration or hardness (which needs to be measured by feel NOT sight).

I'm very surprised your doctor would tell you that.

Now to answer your other question, even if you WERE skin test positive (which you are not) it doesn't mean you have ACTIVE tuberculosis. TB is a bug that 1/3 of the world's population has been exposed to, but <5% of these people actually get active disease. So when you have a positive skin test and have no symptoms of TB you are said to have latent TB and are NOT contagious and therefore pose no risk to your father with COPD.

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