Screening Among Specific Groups
Screening for tuberculosis (TB) infection and providing treatment to prevent progression to active disease are important in the ultimate elimination of tuberculosis. However, these strategies are lower priority than core control activities such as the identification and treatment of active cases, contact investigations, and disease surveillance. As our resources become more limited, it will become increasingly more important to direct any screening performed toward those populations where the yield and benefit are likely to be greatest.
The Virginia TB Control Program endorses only those screening programs that target specific high-risk populations and that include not only the initial evaluation for infection, but also a specific plan for assuring completion of preventive therapy. This policy, intended as a recommendation to the local health districts, has been developed in accordance with guidelines outlined by the by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Targeted Tuberculin Testing and Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection (MMWR 2000; 49 (No. RR-6)) . While some districts in the Commonwealth of Virginia are capable of carrying out screening on a broader scale, it is suggested that this policy as well as national guidelines be consulted in planning for new programs or reviewing old ones.