Diagnosing TB
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There are various ways to diagnose tuberculosis. Most doctors will use most or all of the following tests, simply as a precaution.
A. X-Ray---Everyone should have an x-ray done once a year, especially if the person is over 45 years of age. X-rays are used to determine if the lungs are healthy.
B. Physical Examination---Physical exams should be done once a year. They check on general health and can help to find the disease early, when it’s the easiest to treat.
C. Lab tests---Lab tests are used to determine if a patient has TB and if its progressing. There are various types of laboratory tests, but the most common is sputum tests. Sputum is material in the throat and lungs that is released by coughing. Sputum is examined for disease germs.
D. Skin Tests---Skin tests have proven to be valuable aids in identifying inactive primary infections. It is also called the tuberculin test. During this test, a small amount of tuberculin is injected into the skin. If the person ever had tuberculin bacilli, the skin around the exposed area becomes hardened. This is called an inflammatory reaction. This does not necessarily mean that the person has an “active” infection. All people, whether active or inactive, react to the test in this way.

Diagnosis of TB may reveal fluid in the pleural cavity which can cause deterioration if the disease is untreated and eventually lead to death.

*~*Crazy, yet true fact:
Tuberculosis can also be acquired from animals, as by drinking their unpasteurized milk although it is the least common 'infector'.*~*


World Health Organization
20 avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27

Tel: +41 (22) 791-2675
Fax: +41 (22) 791-4199
Email: FightTB@who.ch

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
65 Bergen Street
Newark, NJ 07107-3001
Phone: 973-972-3270 Fax: 973-972-3268
Information Line: 1-800-4TB-DOCS (482-3627)

Did You Know There Is A "World TB Day"?

When Dr Robert Koch announced his discovery of the TB bacillus on March 24, 1882 in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, killing one in seven people. Koch's discovery paved the way for the potential elimination of this fearsome disease. But progress towards realizing even a fraction of that promise has come painfully slowly. Effective anti-TB drugs did not appear until the 1950s and
effective treatment services are still not available in many parts of the world. TB has claimed the lives of at least 200 million people since 1882. Millions more add to that total each year.
In 1982, on the one-hundredth anniversary of Dr Koch's presentation, WHO, and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) sponsored the first World TB Day to raise public awareness of the disease. Recently, with renewed global interest in the TB epidemic,
World TB Day has become a major international health event. In 1998, it will be observed as an official United Nations Day for the first time. But World TB Day is not a celebration. The greatest killer of humans in history is still at work, in spite of available effective medicines and tools. World TB Day is a time to mobilize public support for an intensified effort to diagnose and cure TB on a global scale, and build world-wide commitment to use DOTS more widely.