Coughs, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, and chills are all symptoms of a fatal disease known as tuberculosis. If you suspect any of these symptoms then you need to get tested. So what is tuberculosis? How can you detect it? And how much do TB tests cost?
What is a TB test
Tuberculosis or TB for short is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It attacks the lungs, kidney, spine, and brain. If left untreated for prolonged periods, it can result in death. To test for TB, patients have the following testing methods:
TB Skin test
It is also called the Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST). TB skin test is a two-parter: the first visit is to place the test and the second visit is for the doctor to read the results.
A small fluid (called tuberculin) is injected into the skin on the lower part of the arm. After 48 to 72 hours individuals are required to return to the facility to get their results checked, depending on the reaction on of the arm the outcome can be:
Positive: The patient is infected with TB bacteria, and they need further tests to determine whether it is a TB infection.
Negative: No reaction occurred, and so no traces of TB diseases are present.
TB skin tests are recommended for children under the age of five.
TB blood test
Interferon-gamma release assays or IGRAs, are two FDA approved TB blood tests. Patients will get their blood drawn and sent to a laboratory for blood analysis:
Positive: The person is infected with TB bacteria.
Negative: The blood is safe and doesn’t contain any traces of TB infection.
TB blood tests are recommended for people who have recently received a TB vaccine and for those who do not have time for a second appointment for the skin test.
TB cost without insurance
The average cost for a TB skin test is $32. Tuberculosis blood tests have a price tag of $71. Most clinics, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities provide these tests.
TB cost with insurance
Insurance companies cover TB skin test costs by copay after meeting the yearly deductible. Tuberculosis blood tests require you to send the blood sample to a laboratory approved by your insurance provider. If you want to know which insurance companies cover TB tests and treatment then you can consult our expert at The Art Of Insurance.
Tuberculosis is a life-threatening disease that can infect people even after they receive its vaccine. Early screening of TB can be the sole factor that decides how severe the disease is going to be. We recommend taking multiple Tubcerculosis tests throughout your lifetime; especially if you suspect having any symptom.
Anisa Ahmed is assisting Dalton and his team in providing quality affordable health care across the Untied States on a daily basis. Prior to working with health care; Ahmed earned a BA in English, with a focus in creative writing, and has 5 years experience working in professional writing as well as 3 years teaching English to Public High Schools. Now she uses her expertise from both fields to continue to assist the public through education and writing.