TB Alert
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Heaf test

Hope someone can help. Don't want to bother the GP so looking for an answer. I had a heaf test 35 years ago as a teenager and had an allergic reaction so did not get BCG. In the last week the area where the test was has flayered up and looks like the test did all those years ago!!! Any ideas?

2 Replies

Hello Netherhall,

I would recommend going to a pharmacist now to ask their advice and to book an appointment with a doctor if this does not settle down within a couple of weeks. They wouldn't feel that you are wasting their time.

If you feel ill with any of the following symptoms: cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss, loss of appetite or extreme tiredness then you should book to see your GP straight away.

I'm not a medical professional myself so I cannot tell you why a Heaf test might flare up so long after the initial test, or if it indicates TB. However, I do know that people who react to a Heaf test at the time of the test may do so because they already have TB bacteria asleep in their bodies - so they are not offered a BCG as it would not help prevent TB. This sleeping bacteria, known as latent TB, can wake up many years later to make them ill.

This is why it is worth asking a medical opinion, in case this was what happened with you all those years ago. As with any condition, it is good to put your mind at rest if it is nothing, and it is good to get it treated earlier if it is something.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,


1 like

Hi Netherhall,

There is really nothing further that I can add to Helen's comprehensive reply except to say that you MUST speak to your GP about this. It may well be nothing to worry about and I truly hope it is but you cannot afford to risk doing nothing! Good luck


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