OAKLAND, Calif. /California Newswire/ — The California Tuberculosis Controllers Association (CTCA) announces, effective Jan. 1, 2015, Pre-K and K-12 public, private and parochial school employees, volunteers (with frequent and prolonged student contact) and contractors are required to get a tuberculosis (TB) test only when TB risk factors are identified.
Previously, California law required all such persons to undergo a TB test, regardless of whether or not they actually had risk factors for tuberculosis.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1667, authored by Assembly Member Das Williams, replaces the universally required TB test with a TB risk assessment, reflecting current federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) targeted TB testing recommendations. Williams championed this update in the law, saying, "the best public health and medical evidence suggests that universal TB testing is neither necessary nor cost-effective. Targeted screening will continue to protect our state's teachers, volunteers, school employees, and children from tuberculosis."
The new law requires the use of a Pre-K and K-12 TB Risk Assessment Questionnaire and Certificate of Completion form from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). A licensed health care provider, including registered nurses, must administer the assessment within 60 days of hire.
* If NO risk factors are identified, the screening is complete, and the process repeats every four years.
* If TB risk factors are identified, a TB test is required. If the test is positive, it must be followed by a chest x-ray to exclude active infectious TB disease.
* If a person has a documented positive TB test for infection followed by an x-ray, the Pre-K and K-12 TB Risk Assessment Questionnaire and TB test are no longer required. However, the person will need to self-report to his or her primary care physician if signs of TB develop (i.e., prolonged cough, coughing up blood, fever, night sweats, weight loss, excessive fatigue).
At the next regularly scheduled TB test, current school employees, volunteers and contractors are required to submit to the Pre-K and K-12 TB Risk Assessment Questionnaire or a TB test. A TB test can be administered instead of the Questionnaire, should it be requested.
CTCA, in partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) TB Control Branch, the California School Nurses Organization (CSNO) and the California Department of Education (CDE), have developed materials supporting the implementation of AB 1667:
The following documents, are linked from the Program Resources page (link: http://ctca.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=menu&menu_id=5004 ):
– Pre-K and K-12 TB Risk Assessment Questionnaire.
– Frequently Asked Questions document.
– AB 1667.
CTCA is an affiliate of the California Conference of Local Health Officers. Our mission is to eliminate of the threat of TB from California through leadership and the development of excellence in tuberculosis prevention and treatment.
More information: http://www.ctca.org/ .
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