Urgent Care: Treating and Prevent TB
There are currently 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent Care Medicine today in facilities all over the country. Eighty-five percent of urgent care centers are open seven days a week. And many have extended or after hours urgent care. An estimated 3 million patients visit them each week, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. An urgent care clinic can treat symptoms for to TB infection, allergies, respiratory infections and other infections.
TB Infection and Testing
Tuberculosis, known as TB, is a disease caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is spread throughout the air. TB most commonly affects the lungs, but according to the CDC, it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. The only sign of TB infection is a positive reaction to a TB skin test or TB blood test.
There are two different tests that will confirm a TB infection and are considered urgent care services: TB Skin Tests and TB Blood tests. Skin tests are most common. According to the CDC, for a skin test medical professionals will inject a small amount of fluid called tuberculin into the skin of the lower arm. After 2 or 3 days, you must have your skin test read by doctors or nurses. There could be swelling where the fluid was injected. The health care worker will measure the swelling and tell you if the tests reaction is positive or negative. A positive reaction means that you have been infected by someone with TB disease.
The second kind of TB testing is a blood test. A blood test uses a small blood sample to find out if you are infected with the bacteria. The tests will measure the response of TB proteins when mixed with blood.
Symptoms of TB Treatable at Urgent Care
TB typically affects the lungs but depending on the part of the body that is infected, symptoms may vary.
According to the CDC, TB within the lungs can result in:
- a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- pain in the chest
- coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
If you experience any of these symptoms, visit a local urgent care facility for a TB test to know for sure.
The most common diagnosis in an urgent care center was an upper respiratory condition. Some injuries seen in urgent care include sprains, strains, and sports injuries. In addition to emergency care, std testing, pediatric care, and x-ray services are also handled within urgent care locations country-wide. Urgent care centers are an option to consider for vaccinations, preventive medicine, and emergencies. Be sure to visit your nearest urgent care clinic for vaccinations against the flu, tuberculosis and other icky infections.