Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuberculin Skin Test Shortage

We are attaching a recent health alert sent out to local public health agencies from the Department. There is a nationwide shortage of the Tuberculin(TB) Skin Test Antigen "Tubersol". There are also regional shortages of the TB Skin Test Antigen "Aplisol".

Some providers have identified the issue and have requested clarification in regard to new employee testing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending the following:

1. Substitute the TB skin test with a blood test called "IGRA". This would require a blood draw and the test sent to a laboratory for analysis. The cost is greater than a TB skin test.

2. Substitute Aplisol for Tubersol where available to conduct TB skin testing.

3. Prioritization of need. The deferment of routine skin testing (new employee) should be considered in consultation with local public health authorities.

In light of the recommendations of the CDC, the Department recommends you seek guidance from your local public health authorities to see if you are in a higher risk area for exposure to TB and apply any recommendations given.

If the decision is made to defer testing, make sure you have updated your policy and continue to monitor for symptoms of TB as per CDC guidelines. Document in your personnel records the actions taken to monitor employees and complete the testing when the TB skin antigens become available.

Contact Judy.Hughes@state.co.us for more information.

HAN Update - Nationwide Shortage of Tuberculin Skin Antigen Test