Wednesday, July 01, 2009

how do you even get TB??

what if i have TB?

this is the lingering question from our immigration medical exam this morning. our blood is drawn for HIV & various & sundry STD's, we got our tetnus boosters, and we go back friday to have our injection site examined. after that, we're all paperwork done and in the envelope!

but ... what if i have TB?

ha! :)


Krissi said...

"When people suffering from active pulmonary TB cough, sneeze, speak, or spit, they expel infectious aerosol droplets 0.5 to 5 ┬Ám in diameter. A single sneeze can release up to 40,000 droplets. Each one of these droplets may transmit the disease, since the infectious dose of tuberculosis is very low and the inhalation of just a single bacterium can cause a new infection."

There's your answer. Tuberculosis has no vaccine and once you have it you always have it. Many AIDS victims in Africa die from TB. Whole wards in hospitals are set up for it because it can be so contagious, so they are separated from other patients.

This is way more than you wanted to know, eh? I know the vaccine issue because TB is on the list of things one should be vaccinated against when going to Uganda (where I went a few years ago), but when I called the county medical office, they told me a vaccine does not exist. Nice. However, for most people who have TB, it never becomes active.

jd said...

Assuming you had a PPD test, if your injection site looks uninteresting, you should be fine.

Having TB is one thing, but you should hope you don't have XDR-TB! Yikes!

rachel said...

jd - you are a little bit of a scary person to know! i don't want to know about all the germs out there!! :)