Local and Community News
Denver College Campus Tests Foreign-Born Students for TB
November 20, 2002
Forty percent of foreign-born students screened on Denver's Auraria campus tested positive for dormant tuberculosis, but none had active TB. This rate of dormant, or latent, TB was expected and is slightly lower than the foreign-born population nationally, Auraria Health Center Director Steve Monaco said Monday.
Auraria, a campus serving Metro State, the Community College of Denver and the University of Colorado, initiated the free, mandatory test for all foreign-born students in October on the recommendation of a campus TB task force after three students were diagnosed with the disease in July 1999. Students who refuse the test will not be allowed to re-enroll next fall. About 2,700 of Auraria's 4,767 foreign-born students submitted to the testing. It was unknown how many of the untested students were graduating, Monaco said.
About 1,000 of the 2,700 students tested from Oct. 14 to Nov. 7 had a positive reaction to a skin test that signals either latent TB or a TB vaccination. All were referred for chest X-rays to test for active TB. Of the 600 who have taken the chest X-ray thus far, 11 have had abnormal results and have been referred to the Colorado Health Department TB clinic for a saliva test. All have come back negative. Chest X-rays for all 1,000 students should be completed next month, Monaco said.
In the future, the annual testing will be expanded to include faculty, staff and students who travel internationally, nursing students, and campus day-care workers, Monaco said.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.