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TB Testing

What is this TB Hold all about?

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial infection that was once a major cause of death in the United States. Active TB targets the lungs primarily, and also attacks other vital organs such as the kidneys.

Although much has been done to control the spread of TB, today it can still be deadly if not treated properly. With current medical treatments active TB (TB with active symptoms present) can be cured and latent (dormant) TB can be treated to prevent it from developing into active TB.

With the diverse population we have on campus and the rapid rate at which an infection can spread, it is necessary for us to have programs like this in place to avoid a serious outbreak that could be detrimental to our campus.

TB surveys are sent out annually online to BYU-I students and, if answered in a certain manner, it will flag you for a TB test. At that point, you will either need to submit a record of your having had a TB test to the Student Health Center or you need to come and have a test administered at our clinic.

How is TB transmitted?

TB is transmitted person to person through tiny air droplets. Someone with active TB spreads TB by coughing, sneezing, speaking, or singing when others are nearby.

People with active TB will most likely transmit the infection to people they spend the most time with: family members, coworkers, roommates, and friends.

What are the symptoms?

People with active TB have the following symptoms:

  • Body Aches
  • Fever
  • Weight Loss
  • Night Sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing Blood
  • "Bad cough" that lasts more than 3 weeks

Latent TB has no active symptoms and cannot be detected without a test.

Who needs to have a TB test?

  • All students returning home from a mission – even if it was stateside, you may still be at risk.
  • All students who have traveled outside of the US since their last TB test - especially those who have traveled to any of the high risk countries listed below.
  • Students born outside of the US and/or have had the BCG vaccine.
  • Students who may have been in close contact with someone who has had TB
  • Those who have had positive TB skin tests in the past and/or have been advised to consider medication for TB.

High Risk Countries

Below is a list of High-Risk Countries. If you have been to any one of these countries, you could be at risk for Tuberculosis.

TB Countries

The Testing Process

At BYU-Idaho, students at risk for TB are tested in the following order:

  1. A skin test (Mantoux test) is performed, where a small amount of fluid (tuberculin or PPD) is injected under the skin on the arm and then the site is observed for signs of reaction after 48-72 hours.
  2. If the skin test is positive, then the student has a blood test done called T-spot. This test is done by drawing a small amount of blood and then checking the blood sample for antibodies that would indicate the presence of the TB bacteria in the body.
  3. If the T-spot test is positive then the student will meet with a Provider at the Student Health Center to evaluate the condition and then have a chest x-ray to find evidence of active TB. From this point on, the student will receive the appropriate treatment for latent TB.

For more information, read our TB Information Document