If you suspect that you have TB, please contact
- a health station /health center in the area where you live
- occupational health services
- health station in the area where you live or student health services (student)
- public health nurse in the reception center (asylum seeker)
The health station/center should give you either an appointment time for a public health nurse or doctor within 1-2 days or instructions about what you should do.
Medical evaluation for TB is started by asking you about your symptoms and about other diseases you may have. You will also be asked whether you have earlier been treated for TB or if you have had a close contact with someone who has TB : for example in the family or place where you live, in your work place or school or in your home country and other questions.
If TB is suspected, chest radiograph (x-ray) is always taken and samples for sputum examinations (microscopic examination and culture of sputum) are collected.
In addition, a doctor makes a physical examination.
This basic medical evaluation for TB is done for adults usually in the health centre. Depending on the state of health of the patient, the evaluation can also be done in a hospital.
If TB is diagnosed or it is strongly suspected, you will be sent as soon as possible to the hospital for further medical evaluation and treatment. If it is possible that you have TB which can spread to others, it is necessary to get you a place in the hospital urgently (within a couple of days). Otherwise it may take longer before you get a place in the hospital.
In the hospital, you will be at first in an isolation room, so that you would not spread the disease to others. Further investigations and tests will be made in the hospital depending on the situation.
Treatment of TB is started in the hospital and is continued at home. TB medicines are always taken in the presence of a qualified worker. Although the health centre usually organizes the TB medication for the patient, the doctor in the hospital is responsible for your treatment and decides about it as long your treatment lasts. Follow-up visits in the outpatient department of the hospital take place about once a month.
Diagnosing TB in children is demanding. Once a child has got TB, her/his condition can worsen very rapidly. For this reason all investigations for children under 16 years of age are done in the childrens’ clinic in the hospital.
Diagnostic evaluation for TB and treatment are free of charge for anyone who has TB disease. You will get support and information about your treatment from the personnel who is treating you. A social worker at the hospital can give you information on social security issues.
Basic medical evaluation
- medical history by interviewing
- physical examination by doctor
- chest radiograph
- microscopic examination and culture of sputum samples
Further medical evaluation (done if necessary)
- blood tests
- examination of biopsy or tissue samples
- sophisticated medical imaging examinations, like computed tomography of the lungs or magnetic resonance imaging
- special examinations of sputum samples