Health Dept., Facing Solution Shortage, Stops Tuberculosis Skin Tests

Friday, September 13, 2013 | 9:01 am

The Pasadena Public Health Dept., facing a state-wide shortage of tuberculosis (TB) skin testing solution, has stopped offering TB skin tests for routine annual, school or employment screenings.

Officials say an alternative test is available and the public should not fear any increase in the disease spreading without detection in Pasadena.

“As an alternate option, we will continue to offer QuantiFERON TB (non-skin) tests,” the Health Department said in a statement.

The Health Department said it will adhere to the recommendation of the California Department of Public Health to only provide TB skin testing for “high-risk” individuals such as TB contacts, HIV-infected individuals, immigrant screening and pediatric patients, in which QuantiFERON testing is not recommended.

The regular school requirement of TB testing was to given to school employees during the enrollment period earlier this year, but future TB skin tests for routine annual, school or employment screening is temporarily halted, said Leticia Saenz, Disease Prevention and Control Division Manager of Health Department.

“We didn’t have to change any of our regular practices for those children because we did have some ample supply for them at the beginning of the school year,” Saenz said. “If there were high risks, we would take it on a case by case basis but there is also a blood test that is offered in lieu of the skin test that we offer.”

For more information, call the Travel and Immunization Clinic at (626) 744-6121.

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