FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — The Forsyth County Health Department is changing requirements for who gets tested for tuberculin (TB) due to a nationwide shortage of Aplisol and Tubersol.
Both Aplisol and Tubersol are used during TB skin tests to help diagnose latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (latent TB) infection and disease.
The Forsyth County Health Department said it will only give TB skin tests to those who are considered at high risk.
High-risk individuals that are approved for tuberculin (TB) skin testing at FCDPH are as follows:
- Patients and staff of licensed long-term care facilities upon initial employment or admission to the facility. Annual tests will not be administered to this risk group.
- Staff of adult day care facilities that provide for people with HIV or AIDS upon initial employment. Annual tests will not be administered to this risk group.
- Staff of homeless shelters upon initial employment. Annual tests will not be administered to this risk group.
- Persons starting Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) medications, such as Humira, Remicade, and Enbril.
Persons in the following risk groups may be eligible to receive a tuberculin skin test at FCDPH if it is their initial visit for health care services in the Immunizations Clinic:
- Persons who have been recently exposed to people with tuberculosis disease
- Those born in or frequently traveling to countries where tuberculosis disease is common or of high incidence
- Those living in large group settings such as homeless shelters
- Illicit drug users
- Migrant farm workers
- Persons with increased, significant health risks should they become infected with tuberculosis disease, such as people with diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, head and neck cancers, or gastric bypass surgery patients.
Health leaders said they will not give tests as part of a routine employee screening or infection control program considered to be low risk. These include, but are not limited to, childcare facility staff, healthcare workers, teachers, bus drivers, and food service employees.
Health leaders said they do not know when the shortage will end and supplies will return to normal.
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