The most common infectious disease currently worldwide is Tuberculosis or TB. Reports estimate that approximately 1/3 of the entire world population is infected with the bacterium that causes TB. Even though TB is not as prevalent in the United States as it is in foreign countries, certain work condition will increase the risk of contracting TB. For example, you have an assisted living care company that houses numerous elderly people, due to their age and health status, contracting TB would be detrimental to their well being. Therefore, the company should conduct TB testing on any employee that will be working with the elderly. Other industries like food service/preparation, day care, and patient healthcare are at a higher risk of acquiring TB, and should make it common practice to test all new hires for Tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis testing is done through the skin (also known as the tuberculin test of PPD test). This test is used to determine if someone has developed an immune response to the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. Positive results may be due to someone currently having TB or previously exposed to TB. Another factor that can lead to a positive result for tuberculosis is if the employee received the BCG (Bacille Calmette Guerin) vaccine, which is given to children born in foreign countries to combat tuberculosis. If a positive skin test is reported, the employer has the opportunity to request a Chest Cavity X-ray that will without a doubt confirm if the employee in fact has tested positive for Tuberculosis.
The steps in completing a tuberculosis test are as followed. Once the company has made a request for TB testing, the background screening firm will then locate a hospital or doctors office that will perform the test. The employee will then visit the facility and receive the tuberculosis skin test (usually applied to the left forearm). After 48 hours have passed the employee will then go back to the facility and have the test read by hospital staff.