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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a positive PPD test result mean?

A positive PPD test will show signs of either swelling or hardness on the skin. If the swelling signs are present, a healthcare professional will measure the swelling area with a ruler. Abnormal Positive. These results mean that you have been infected with TB bacteria in the past.

How do you get a PPD test?

PPD stands for purified protein derivative. You will need two visits to your health care provider's office for this test. At the first visit, the provider will clean an area of your skin, usually the inside of your forearm. You will get a small shot (injection) that contains PPD.

What is the difference between a positive TB test and a latent infection?

A positive TB test result means only that TB bacteria has been detected. It does not indicate whether the person has active TB or a latent infection. This requires additional testing. TB disease can be diagnosed by medical history, physical examination, chest X-ray, and other lab tests.

What are the reasons for a false-positive TB test?

Reasons for a false-positive test include: You’ve received the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine. Some countries use the BCG vaccine to reduce a person’s risk for developing TB. A healthcare professional improperly administered your test. A healthcare professional incorrectly interpreted your test results.


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