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§16-3D-1. Purpose and legislative findings.

(a) The purpose of this article is to bring together the state law governing compulsory testing for tuberculosis (TB) of students and school personnel as well as the statutes pertaining to the treatment, control and commitment of persons with the disease at hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities throughout the state.

(b) The targeted tuberculin testing and treatment guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the year two thousand recommends that routine testing of low-risk populations for administrative purposes be discontinued. The elimination of routine retesting of school personnel in accordance with this recommendation will result in significant savings to the state.

(c) According to the CDC, high risk groups or persons that should be tested for latent TB infection include:

(1) Close contacts of a person known or suspected to have TB;

(2) Foreign-born persons from areas where TB is common;

(3) Residents and employees of high-risk congregate settings;

(4) Health care workers who serve high-risk clients;

(5) Medically underserved, low-income populations;

(6) High-Risk racial or ethnic minority populations;

(7) Children exposed to adults in high-risk categories;

(8) Persons who inject illicit drugs;

(9) Persons with HIV infection; and

(10) Persons with certain medical conditions, such as substance abuse, chest X-ray findings suggestive of previous TB, diabetes mellitus, silicosis, prolonged corticosteroid therapy, other immunosuppressive therapy, cancer of the head and neck, end-stage renal disease, intestinal bypass or gastrectomy, chronic malabsorption syndromes, or low body weight of ten percent or more below the ideal.

(d) Early diagnosis, proper and complete treatment for people with active TB disease prevents transmission to others as well as preventing the emergence of multidrug resistant TB.

(e) The TB Control Program should be funded at levels necessary to accomplish directly observed therapy for all patients with active TB disease in West Virginia and to implement targeted testing of high-risk groups.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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