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MASON CITY, IA-If you’re looking to get screened for tuberculosis any time soon, you may have to wait.
There’s a nationwide shortage of the popular skin test, Tuberculin.
The duration of the shortage is unknown, but product suppliers have said it will at least go until the end of May.
The Cerro Gordo county public health department in Mason City is seeing the impacts first hand.
They do a lot of testing at their facility for healthcare workers who need it as part of their job requirements.
Public health leaders say once they run out, they will have to suspend testing, but if there’s a case they are investigating, they can conduct blood tests.
“We do need to make sure that people are not running around contagious with that germ and spreading it because especially health care workers, their point is to take care of patients, not make them sick so it’s an important test to do but the good news is that we’re a low risk area and we don’t see a lot of it here,” said Karen Crimmings with the Cerro Gordo County Public Health Department.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that typically impacts the lungs.
Anymore, medical advances has helped decrease the amount of people who die from the illness.