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BANGKOK 25 April 2019 03:19
griffon2011

Tuberculosis test

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I was taking care of an individual who in addition to the initial illness was found to have pulmonary tuberculosis.  As I was in close contact with this individual I am concerned and would like to be tested.  In the event that I test positive is the Thai equivalent of the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) required to be informed and would this affect my retirement visa or stay in the country? 

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There is no exact Thai equivalent to the CDC.

 

Statistics on numbers of cases of TB are reported to the Ministry of Public Health but nto names.

 

No effect on your visa.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Sheryl said:

There is no exact Thai equivalent to the CDC.

 

Statistics on numbers of cases of TB are reported to the Ministry of Public Health but nto names.

 

No effect on your visa.

 

 

Thanks!  I was a bit concerned of what would happen if I tested positive.  

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If you test positive you will get a chest x-ray and be put on oral antibiotics for an extended period of time.

 

I tested positive in Hawaii when I was just 18 y.o. (58 now) and had to do 6 months on a daily antibiotic.

 

I will always test positive for TB the rest of my life.  This does mean that I have T.B., only that I was exposed to it at some point in my life and have TB antibodies in my system.

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OP, a positive test result would have an effect if you tried to get an OA visa from home country as it one of the medicial test required.

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4 minutes ago, Peterw42 said:

OP, a positive test result would have an effect if you tried to get an OA visa from home country as it one of the medicial test required.

Not true.  A positive TB test result would have no effect at all UNLESS you actually have TB and it is duly noted on the doctor's report that you submitted for your O-A visa application.

 

Trust me, I have positive TB tests and I got an O-A visa in the USA from the Thai EMbassy in D.C.

 

Like I said above, if you have a positive TB test, you will be given a chest x-ray to determine whether you have TB or not.  An annual chest x-ray is no longer required (for those with positive skin tests) for employment in the US either, only the filling out of a medical questionnaire regarding TB signs and symptoms.... i.e.    Do you have night sweats? Coughing up bloody sputum?  Frequent fever?  Malaise? Difficulty breathing? etc.

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I suspect when the OP said "prove positive" what he meant was "am diagnosed with TB/prove to have TB" not "have a positive skin test".

 

A positive tuberculin skin test  does NOT mean the person has TB, just that they have had some sort of exposure to the organism. People who received the BCG vaccine in childhood will test positive on this, for example.

 

This test is a useful screening tool to identify people who should then have a chest Xray to rule out active TB but does not in itself diagnose tuberculosis.

 

For someone with known close exposure to someone with active TB most physicians would start with a Chest Xray. If it showed no sign of active disease, they would then do a skin test and, if positive, follow that up with a special blood test to distinguish latent form active TB.

 

OP I suggest you see a specialist in infectious disease for appropriate work up. DIagnosing TB is not as simple as it may sound.

 

 

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I had a chest x-ray showing an abnormality in my lung. I had not previously been ill or shown any signs of illness that I recall.

 

The doctor performed some blood analysis and determined a presence of TB anti-bodies. He was unable to determine if I had TB at the present time, but prescribed a 6 month series of antibiotics. 3 monthly x-rays performed over the next year did not show any change from to the size / density of the spot on my lung. The doctor concluded that at some time in the past I had most likely had TB, but the disease was no longer present. I am not a medical person, and do not claim to understand all the nuances of the doctor’s comments.

 

I was informed that it was the doctor’s opinion that the spot on my lung was most likely a scar from a previous TB infection. Just mentioning what was told to me.

 

A single chest x-ray will not determine the presence of active TB. It will take a series of x-rays over a period of time to determine “active”.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect

 

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44 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

I suspect when the OP said "prove positive" what he meant was "am diagnosed with TB/prove to have TB" not "have a positive skin test".

 

A positive tuberculin skin test  does NOT mean the person has TB, just that they have had some sort of exposure to the organism. People who received the BCG vaccine in childhood will test positive on this, for example.

 

This test is a useful screening tool to identify people who should then have a chest Xray to rule out active TB but does not in itself diagnose tuberculosis.

 

For someone with known close exposure to someone with active TB most physicians would start with a Chest Xray. If it showed no sign of active disease, they would then do a skin test and, if positive, follow that up with a special blood test to distinguish latent form active TB.

 

OP I suggest you see a specialist in infectious disease for appropriate work up. DIagnosing TB is not as simple as it may sound.

 

 

Sheryl is correct.  

Additionally, request an additional sputum analysis to confirm wether you have, or have NOT been exposed, and if you have been exposed - to which strain of TB.  Example. TB comes in several flavors.  Regular TB, MDR TB and XTR TB.  Depending on which TB  strain you are exposed to, will determine treatment based on the 2019 WHO guidelines.  The regular TB is a usually a 6 month treatment.  However, depending on the country and available drugs, that has been shortened based on evidence based research.  Best to do is get tested and speak to your MD, preferably a pulmonologist. If you are positive and placed on medication.  Remember 2 absolutes: NEVER miss a dose because you will have to start treatment all over again; and MUST NOT consume alcohol. ZERO.  Causes vomiting and renders drugs useless.  Plus destroys your liver.

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1 minute ago, mike787 said:

Remember 2 absolutes: NEVER miss a dose because you will have to start treatment all over again; and MUST NOT consume alcohol. ZERO.  Causes vomiting and renders drugs useless.  Plus destroys your liver.

 

Yes this is correct.  I distinctly remember having to give up my beer drinking for six months while on the antibiotics. 

 

NOTE:  The legal age to buy liquor in Hawaii at that time was 18 y.o. so no, I was not a drunken criminal back then (so to speak). 5555

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sputum test will show if there are TB organisms present (and can be used to determine what drugs they are sensitive to) but will be positive only in active infection, cannot show past exposure. Usually recommended only if Chest Xray shows something OR the person is symptomatic (cough for more than 2 weeks etc)

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I've discussed repatriating  back to the US and my sister who is a nurse has insisted that I get the quanteferon test for TB, she claims that it's the only way to tell if yer infectious 'and I work with doctors!!! and with TB specialists!!!'...sounds a bit hysterical to me but she believes that everyone in east asia is infected...don't know if this test is available in Thailand...

 

maybe better to stay in Thailand and die peacefully of TB if infection does indeed exist...doesn't matter that I have diabetes and high BP and more likely to die of a stroke...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tutsiwarrior said:

I've discussed repatriating  back to the US and my sister who is a nurse has insisted that I get the quanteferon test for TB, she claims that it's the only way to tell if yer infectious 'and I work with doctors!!! and with TB specialists!!!'...sounds a bit hysterical to me but she believes that everyone in east asia is infected...don't know if this test is available in Thailand...

 

maybe better to stay in Thailand and die peacefully of TB if infection does indeed exist...doesn't matter that I have diabetes and high BP and more likely to die of a stroke...

 

 

I believe in "Informed consent".  If your mind is sound, then your decision is between you, and your God...whatever you decide.  If you choose death, know it is slow, painful when TB disseminates through out your body, also called "extra pulmonary".  It starts in the lungs, then it can migrate to your bones and can be painful.  It can feel like you can't breath because of poor oxygen to blood perfusion.  You may end up coughing up blood and vomiting blood as it advances.  TB will rob you of your energy, leaving short of breath and emaciated - if you live that long.  I can go on and on. My end point here is simple: to empower YOU with knowledge, so that your choice is the one that will bring you happiness, whatever that means for you.  

Do follow your sisters advice. Consult a pulmonologist, and YES Quanteferon is one gold standard, coupled with Chest Xray, sputum cultures x 3.  If you cannot generate sputum, they can assist with that.   

Edited by mike787
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tutsiwarrior said:

she believes that everyone in east asia is infected

She has a good point...she is making a factual statement based on statistical data.  Not everyone, but it is a serious "epidemic".

Edited by mike787

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5 minutes ago, mike787 said:

I believe in "Informed consent".  If your mind is sound, then your decision is between you, and your God...whatever you decide.  If yo choose death, it is slow, painful when TB migrates, or called "extra pulmonary".  TB can effect every part of your body.  It starts in the lungs, then it can migrate to your bones and be painful.  It can feel luck you can't breath because of poor oxygen to blood perfusion.  You may end up coughing up blood and vomiting blood as it advances.  TB will rob you of your energy, you will lose weight.  I can go on and on. My end point here is to simply to empower YOU with knowledge, so that your choice is the one that will bring you happiness whatever that means for you.  Do follow your sisters advice. Consult a pulmonologist, and YES Quanteferon is one gold standard, coupled with Chest Xray, sputum cultures x 3.  If you cannot generate sputum, they can assist with that.   

whoa...settle down there pardner...my post was to inform about quanteferon for TB testing with a bit of entertaining banter on the side...certainly not to discuss exit arrangements between me 'and my god', etc...and I'm sure that if most westerners were concerned about the rate of TB infection in east asia most of us wouldn't be here...

 

a harsh life with poor nutrition and a weakened immune system can happen anywhere...

 

 

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