A TB skin test is a simple way to find out if you have latent/inactive TB. A small needle will be used to inject a small amount of liquid called tuberculin just under the skin on your arm.
You must return to the health unit 2 days after the test is given to have your arm checked, even if your arm looks okay to you.
Effective immediately, due to the demands of the COVID-19 situation Southwestern Public Health will no longer be offering TB skin testing clinics until further notice ( except where required for immigration or because you came in direct contact with someone with tuberculosis). We will honour the appointments of anyone already booked, however will not be booking new people. If your doctor has asked you to obtain this test please call your doctor’s office and advise them that this service is not available currently from public health.
As of October 15, 2018, TB skin tests at Southwestern Public Health will only be given to people who:
- Need the test for a medical reason (please bring a letter from your health care provider)
- Are new to Canada and need the test for immigration purposes (TB IMS)
- Have had recent contact with a person who is sick with active TB
Testing is done by appointment only. Call to book an appointment:
St. Thomas Site - (519) 631-9900
Woodstock Site - (519) 421-9901
For employment, school and volunteer purposes, please contact your family physician or one of the following CarePartners location:
CarePartners - St. Thomas
107 Edward Street, Unit 102
1-800-443-4615 ext. 3200
CarePartners - Woodstock
65 Springbank Drive North
Unit 5, Woodstock
CarePartners - Tillsonburg
25 Townline Road
CarePartners - Perth/Stratford
61 Lorne Avenue East
Unit 4, Stratford
Please check with Care Partners or your family physician (if applicable) for TB Skin Testing costs.
A two-step skin test means that you need two TB skin tests. The second test should be given 1 - 4 weeks after the first. The 2-step skin test needs to be done ONCE only and never needs to be repeated.
A two-step test is recommended for people who will need repeat TB skin tests in the future (e.g. health care providers).
A TB skin test is “positive” if there is a certain size bump where the fluid was injected. This means you might have TB germs in your body. Most people with a positive TB skin test have latent/inactive TB infection. Your health care provider will examine you and send you for a chest x-ray after a positive TB skin test. You may need other tests to see if you have active TB disease
- There may be slight swelling, redness, bruising or itching at the site, this is normal.
- Do not cover the test site with a bandage.
- Be careful not to rub or scratch the test site. If the area itches put a cold cloth on it.
- You can wash your arm and dry it gently.
- Anyone with a history of a positive TB skin test in the past;
- Anyone who has been diagnosed or treated for active or latent TB in the past;
- Anyone who has had a live vaccine must wait 4 weeks before having the TB skin test;
- Anyone who has had a recent major viral illness in the past month;
- Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to the TB skin test in the past.
The following are NOT contraindications for TB skin testing: pregnancy, breastfeeding, past history of BCG vaccination, vaccination with a non-live vaccine in the past 4 weeks or treatment with low-dose steroids.