Tuberculosis Screening

Health Services offers two methods of tuberculosis screening.

TB Skin Test (PPD)
1. TB skin tests are administered in Health Services every weekday except Thursdays.  

2. A TB Skin Test requires 2 visits to Health Services. On the first visit, the provider will:

  • Wipe your inner arm with an antiseptic solution
  • Use a tiny needle to inject a small amount of PPD under the first layer of skin. PPD is a protein that comes from the tuberculosis bacteria. It is not live bacteria, and it will not make you sick.
  • A small bump will form on your forearm. It should go away in a few hours. Be sure to leave the site uncovered and undisturbed.

3. After 48-72 hours, patients will return to Health Services for their second visit. During this visit, the provider will check the injection site for a reaction that may indicate a TB infection. This includes swelling, redness, and an increase in size.

T-SPOT TEST
1. T-SPOT tests can be performed in Health Services Monday – Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

2. For this test, the healthcare provider will use a small needle to take a blood sample from a vein in the arm.

  • After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube. Patients may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out.
  • The T-SPOT visit usually takes less than five minutes
  • The blood sample is sent to Quest Diagnostics
  • Test results usually are available within 48 hours.   

NOTE:   The T-SPOT test (instead of PPD) is now required for all foreign-born students.