STUDENT TESTING DURING TUBERCULIN SHORTAGE

PRESS RELEASE No: 2019-090 

STUDENT TESTING DURING TUBERCULIN SHORTAGE 

The Department of Public Health and Social Services, would like to inform the public that on June 6, 2019, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Health Advisory notifying the public of a 3 to 10 month nationwide shortage of the APLISOL®, a product of Par Pharmaceuticals. This is one of two purified-protein derivative (PPD) tuberculin antigens that are licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in performing tuberculin skin tests. Since this announcement, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) has been assessing the supply of the antigen on the island and the volume of serial testing that occurs.

Upon conclusion of the assessment, the DPHSS recommends the following for testing of students during the shortage:

1.  Students, who have never received a test for TB infection, still obtain a test from their primary care provider and submit it to their school (in accordance with 10 GCA §3329)

a. Students entering from the United States or states or its territories should have it completed within one year prior to enrollment

b. Students entering from an area other than the United States or its states or territories should have it within six (6) months prior to enrollment

2.  Students requiring serial testing, (e.g. students transitioning from one grade to another) need to complete a TB risk assessment and have it reviewed by the school administration.  The TB risk assessment (Appendix A) is a self-assessment to determine if there is an immediate need for testing. It includes questions on TB symptoms, exposure risks, and potential for progressing to TB disease.

a. If students have TB symptoms or risk factors, they should be tested prior to admission

b. If students have no TB symptoms or risk factors, defer testing.

3.  When transferring from one school system to another, documentation should be allowed to be transferred from one school system to the next to minimize the need for repeat testing.

These recommendations are active for the current School Year 2019 – 2020 and applies to all serial testing for students from Pre-K to post-secondary education. These recommendations may be extended if the shortage persists longer than anticipated.

If you have any questions, please contact the TB/Hansen’s Disease Program Manager at 735-3602 or via email at chima.mbakwem@dphss.guamdev.com.

LINDA UNPINGCO DENORCEY, MPH

Director

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