Tb test positive

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jarvin, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. jarvin

    jarvin Member

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    I went to the doctor to get my tb shot (required by the immunization form), and I was tested positive on the skin test. I went ahead and took an x-ray chest test to see if i had active tuberculosis, and I'm waiting on the results for that. Say worse comes to worse and I do have active tb, what would that spell out for my military career and appointment?
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    If you have active TB, you are in a pickle. But the chances that you do are very, very slim, and you would likely be symptomatic.

    A postive PPD result means that, at some point, you've been exposed to TB. If left untreated, statistically you have about a 2% chance yearly of developing active TB. Once your chest x-ray confirms that you don't have active TB, you will likely start a cycle of a medicine called isonicotinylhydrazine (INH), probably as the brand name Isoniazid or Laniazid. The medicine effectively treats the mycobacteria that cause TB. There are hepatic (liver) side effects, but since you're too young to drink many of them will not be of particular concern to you. The full cycle of INH can last up to 9 months, IIRC, but is usually stopped after 6 to prevent hepatic side effect issues.

    When my brother applied to USAFA, he had the same result. He started INH and they gave him his dose daily during BCT.

    My wife is a physician and due to her work in an urban ER, she also had to go through an INH cycle before our wedding. It was inconvenient, but did not disrupt her life. She did a 6-month cycle.

    Make sure it is well annotated in your records, as PPDs are a regular part of military life and you should be exempt from all future PPDs, as you will forever come up positive (the purified protein derivative tests for your body's reaction, which indicates exposure). Once your INH is complete, there's nothing more to do, so you can be exempted from further PPD testing.

    Hopefully, kp2001 can pop in and offer you more info. And if I've said anything wrong, he can certainly correct me (most of this is from memory based on my wife's experiences as well as those of my brother, and my wife's knowledge). But, from what I have seen, it is by no means a show-stopper and you should not be overly worried.
     
  3. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Also, ask Larry Mullen in the DoDMERB section. I'm sure he can fill you in on how this could affect admissions medical status.
     
  4. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    Is this test required before you go or do they do it at iunprocessing with the other immuno shots?
     
  5. ZoomingFalcon

    ZoomingFalcon Cadet

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    Pretty sure it's required before since you have to come back in 2 days (correct me if I'm wrong) to see if you react to the injection.
     
  6. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    Jarvin -- e-mail Larry Mullen (on DODMERB thread) immediately -- he is the ONLY person who can tell you for sure what this does to your status.

    Texasrocks -- if you don't get it done before in-processing they will do it there - it is a required "immunization/test".
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    It should be done prior to inprocessing.

    Contacting Larry wouldn't be a bad idea, but try not to worry too much. PPD is a regular, and if someone in the unit comes up positive, they're treated and continue duty as normal. It's not unusual for people to come up positive after a deployment, especially after contact with locals or TCNs.
     
  8. daysi_cruse

    daysi_cruse Member

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    Positive TB Test

    When i came into the military i had a positive TB test. It is very very unlikely that you have active TB but all they did was make me take an INH regimen for 9 months. It doesnt at all affect your career in any way. It does suck though. The pill just makes you feel funny the first month and you have to be careful when your taking it to not take other medications because it could cause liver complications.
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    There's an echo in here :wink::biggrin:
     
  10. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Sounds about right for TB. We test military members on a fairly regular basis and someone will react on a fairly regular basis. I can't speak directly to how exactly it would work during BCT or reporting (Larry Mullen probably could though). There is some literature out there right now that is supporting a different and considerably shorter treatment for a positive PPD, so definitely speak to your doctor about that possibility as well.

    Overall not much to add to the discussion from my perspective.
     
  11. jarvin

    jarvin Member

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    do i need to notify dodmerb of the positive tb shot or should i just wait till I-day to report it?
     

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