Is hospitalization required for tuberculosis treatment? (and other TB questions)?

Hi. About 3 months ago, I received a letter from the local county health office telling me that I may have been exposed to tuberculosis at my university. It recommended that I be tested for TB immediately. I did get myself tested (TB skin test), and my result was negative. They recommended that I come back a few... show more Hi. About 3 months ago, I received a letter from the local county health office telling me that I may have been exposed to tuberculosis at my university. It recommended that I be tested for TB immediately. I did get myself tested (TB skin test), and my result was negative. They recommended that I come back a few months later and take the test again, just to be sure. It's time for me to have the second test, and I have an appointment next week to do that. But in the last few weeks I've started coughing, and now I'm kind of scared. I thought at first it was probably just a cold. It's not a severe cough, it's actually quite mild, but it does seem kind of persistent.

Like I said, I'm having another TB test done. But I have several questions. First of all, how likely is it to get a false negative on the skin test? Given that I seem to be developing a fairly persistent cough, I'm wondering if maybe I should have a chest X-ray, even if my TB skin test comes back negative a second time. Also, if my test is positive I know I'm supposed to have a chest X-ray. But If I am diagnosed as having TB, does that just mean that I have to go on antibiotics? Or would I have to actually be treated in a hospital on an in-patient basis? And lastly, Money is extremely tight for me right now. I don't have health insurance. How expensive is the course of drugs that is required to treat tuberculosis? I'm kind of freaked out right now. I'd be happy to get any additional info besides what I've asked, also, if you think there's anything else I should know.

I live in California, if this makes a difference. Thank you!
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