Depending on the job function and industry, workers may be required to receive a tuberculosis test during the pre-employment process and as part of an annual exam.
Common occupations requiring a tuberculosis test for employment include: health care workers, home health aides, laboratory workers, and teachers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides additional TB test guidance.
Mobile Health offers individual testing as well as corporate accounts to help employers manage their compliance requirements.
There are two options when it comes to Tuberculosis testing: QuantiFERON (QFT) and tuberculin skin test (TST). Note that neither of these tests can differentiate between a latent infection and an active infection. The diagnosis of an active infection can be verified only through a chest x-ray.
The TST is a 100-year-old process used to test for tuberculosis. TST is a time-consuming process, as reactions to the test require a reading anywhere from 48-72 hours after the first visit. For this test, there is a minimum of two patient visits, with the potential for four visits to meet baseline testing requirements.
QuantiFERON is the gold standard of tuberculosis testing, and is the modern alternative for the TST. QFT is the most accurate, reliable, and convenient tuberculosis test. The process is simple and requires only one visit, saving time for both the patient and provider. This also helps further expedite compliance and clearance of individuals for work.
Both QFT and TST are effective in diagnosing latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). LTBI is not an active infection, but is instead a state of persistent immune response to stimulation by TB antigens.
In diagnosing LTBI, the QFT does not give false positive results to those individuals who have had the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination, whereas a TST may.
Cases of positive TB test results require a follow-up chest x-ray, as this is the only way to confirm active tuberculosis. Chest x-rays are available to all patients who have a positive TB test result at Mobile Health.
Mobile Health has clinics located throughout New York City and Long Island as well as 3,300 national partnerships with urgent care and local providers offering TB testing. You can access a complete list here.