At this point I have my FUTB shirt in-hand, and I have earned it. I spent a morning last week running around from the doctor to various labs to have blood taken for the QuantiFERON (Gold!) blood test and a chest x-ray. It was all pretty easy except the first lab I went to didn’t do the blood test, and the phlebotomist (which is also a great word) at the second place did a number on my arm. I was swore for two days. I almost waited to have the x-ray done until the blood test came back positive, but then it was close to the gym anyway, so I went ahead and did it. The x-ray results were ready by the afternoon and I received the confirmation that my lungs are clear. As expected, I do not have active TB. However, I received the call today that my blood test was positive. So, latent TB it is! No false positive here. The damn mark from the PPD is finally, just now, basically invisible on my arm, 3 weeks later.

So now I apparently have to report myself to the city health department. They track all positive TB test results. For the latent cases it can’t matter as much as for the active cases, but still it makes me feel a bit like a pariah. Also, it looks like they might offer the latent TB treatment for free. Not that it matters since Peace Corps will be paying for my 6-9 months of chemoprophylaxis if I don’t get free treatment. (I also had to get that great word in there one more time.) It’s also all a bit tricky since I don’t exactly have a stable situation in one geographic place.

In summary, I’m healthy but I was exposed to TB in Mexico. I’m not contagious. I only managed one picture for this stage of the latent TB diagnosis process. Here is my arm after getting blood drawn and before the chest x-ray.

TB-blood-test-round2