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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO:  118

POLICY CODE:  JLCC

TO:                 Superintendents of Schools, Principals and School Nurses

FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:            March 30, 2006

SUBJECT:     TB testing of staff

In response to a number of inquiries from schools regarding the need to have students and staff tested for tuberculosis (TB), this Informational Letter is to assure you that Maine does not require TB testing for students and staff in schools. 

Maine Center for Disease Control (MeCDC) provides guidance to the Department of Education and Maine schools regarding infectious diseases.  MeCDC follows federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines in making recommendations for preventing and controlling TB in communities.

Because tuberculosis infection has become concentrated among persons who are at high risk for TB, or who are members of certain sub-populations, CDC guidelinesrecommends that tuberculin skin testing be performed only on individuals with specific risk factors for tuberculosis infection. 

MeCDC has determined that tuberculin skin testing of all Maine students and staff is not needed.  Students and staff who are at risk for TB should be identified as part of a comprehensive health assessment in the context of their primary care setting.

I hope that this information is useful in helping to formulate school policy for your institution. If you have further questions, you may call Suzanne Gunston, Program Coordinator, at Maine’s TB Control Program (Ph: 287 5194) or e-mail to Suzanne.gunston@maine.gov.