Tuberculous is a serious bacterial infection that most commonly affects the lungs. According to the CDC, 7,882 cases of TB disease were reported in the U.S. in 2021. Additionally, the CDC states that up to 13 million individuals in the U.S. have latent TB infection where there are no symptoms, and the illness cannot be spread. While TB disease is rare and most employers are not required to have their employees tested prior to employment, those working in professions with an increased risk of contracting the disease and/or with vulnerable populations often are.
Some of the most common industries where workers are required to get TB tested are:
- Child Care Centers
- Medical Facilities
- Correctional Facilities
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Homeless Shelters
There are multiple ways to test for tuberculous. Testing methods include blood testing, a tuberculin skin test as well as a chest X-ray. For employment purposes, the most common method used is the TB skin test. In this test, a small amount of fluid is injected into the patient’s lower arm. After 48-72 hours, the patient will return to the clinic and the medical professional will check to see if a reaction has occurred in the injection area. Based off of the reaction, the test result can be determined. In the event of a positive test result, additional testing is needed to determine if the patient has a latent TB infection or active TB disease. Depending on the result, the appropriate treatment will be provided to the individual.
If you’re an employer who is required to have employees tested as part of the onboarding process, Alliance 2020 can help! We have an expansive, national network of clinics that makes it easy to schedule TB tests for your new hires. Upon scheduling, applicants will automatically be emailed a mobile-friendly form they can use to check in at the clinic. Once the testing process is complete, you’ll receive a notification and a link to view the results.
To learn more about TB testing, visit our TB testing services page.