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Posted on: June 24, 2019

Nationwide tuberculin shortage makes TB skin testing unavailable

TB X-ray

Due to a current nationwide shortage of tuberculin used for tuberculosis skin testing, TB skin testing is largely unavailable.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s Clinic continues to offer blood testing, known as interferon gamma release assays or IGRA. Depending on the need for a TB test, the individual may need to consider the blood test or to obtain a TB deferral form signed by a healthcare provider, said Clinic Supervisor Kathy Colson. The Health Department’s nursing staff will be able to assist clients with those decisions. The blood testing screening costs $71.

During the shortage, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Kansas Department of Health and Environment have given recommendations for providers, local health departments, correctional facilities and health care settings on how to identify people who can be administered TB skin tests.

“We are asking all providers, health care facilities, school districts, correctional facilities and those in boarding care or nursing homes to review these recommendations,” Colson said.

Providers can view more information about the guidelines specific to your setting here.

According to the CDC and KDHE estimate the shortage to last anywhere from three to 10 months.

For more resources and guidance on the shortage, visit: 

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