May 2019:

Dear Colleague Letters

Dear Colleagues,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association (NTCA) have released “Tuberculosis Screening, Testing, and Treatment of U.S. Health-Care Personnel: Recommendations from the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association and CDC, 2019”, published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The updated recommendations reflect the overall decrease of TB cases and the low incidence of TB among health care personnel in the United States due to occupational exposure.

Highlights from the updated recommendations include:

  • Health care personnel should receive a baseline individual TB risk assessmentsymptom screening, and TB testing (e.g., TB skin test or TB blood test) upon hire/pre-placement.
  • CDC and NTCA do not recommend annual TB testing for health care personnel unless there is a known exposure or ongoing transmission in a health care setting.
  • Health care personnel with a positive TB skin test or TB blood test result should receive a symptom evaluation and chest x-ray to rule out TB disease. Treatment for latent TB infection is strongly encouraged. Shorter course latent TB infection treatment regimens that are three to four months in duration are encouraged over the longer six- or nine-month treatment regimens because they are easier for people to complete.
  • If health care personnel have untreated latent TB infection, they should be screened annually for symptoms of TB disease (e.g., a cough lasting longer than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, night sweats or a fever, and loss of appetite).
  • All health care personnel should receive annual TB education. TB education should include information on TB risk factors, the signs and symptoms of TB disease, and TB infection control policies and procedures.

These recommendations update the recommendations for TB screening and testing of health care personnel from the Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, 2005. The recommendations for facility risk assessments and infection-control practices are unchanged.

CDC has developed supporting resources and tools including: Frequently Asked Questions and a Baseline Individual TB Risk Assessment Form.

As state and local TB screening and testing regulations may differ based on local needs, the updated recommendations do not override or replace state regulations. CDC encourages facilities with questions about testing regulations in their state to contact their state TB control program.

Thank you for your work and continued commitment to turn TB elimination into a reality. Please visit the CDC Division of Tuberculosis Elimination webpage for additional information and resources regarding these recommendations.

Philip LoBue, MD, FACP, FCCP
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Jonathan H. Mermin, MD, MPH
RADM and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


April 2019:

  • The first cohort/case management review webinar will be held on Tuesday, April 16 at noon via GoToWebinar.
  • Outreach Worker Training will be held April 18-19 in Henrico County.  Registration closed on April 1.
  • In 2019, TB and Newcomer Health is planning mulitple contact investigation trainings that will take place around the state.  Stay tuned for more details.
  • New TB Materials polycom – Wednesday, April 3rd from 12-1.
  • 2018 TB counts and rates by locality, district, region and state have been posted on our website. Please remember that rates in a geographic ares with a small number of cases can be statistically unreliable. Consider using district level or regional rates as needed for facility assessments. 

March 2019:

Dates to Remember
World TB Day is March 24th.  There will be a polycom to celebrate World TB Day on Friday, March 22nd from 12-2PM.

March 29 – New TB Nurse Training in Hanover, VA.  Registration closed.

April 18-19 – Outreach Worker Training in Henrico, VA.  Registration open here.

TB and Newcomer Health Updates and Announcements

LTBI Webinar, broadcast February 15
The US Preventive Service Task force published Latent Tuberculosis Infection Recommendations encouraging providers to test for latent tuberculosis infection (TBI) in populations at increased risk. This recommendation will increase efforts to find and treat people who have TB infection, and is an important step forward in our national strategy for eliminating TB.

VIEW WEBINAR RECORDING HERE  (must register with name and email to view)

The TB Program is recruiting for a part time nurse consultant in a wage position.  Please keep your eyes open for the recruitment and consider joining our team, or at least spreading the word about the position.

World TB Day Polycom

Intended audience: Local Health Departments

Each year, the CDC recognizes World TB Day on March 24. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).

World TB Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of TB around the world. It is a day to share successes in TB prevention and control, and raise awareness of the challenges that hinder our progress toward the elimination of this devastating disease.

Staff from the TB Control Program hosted a polycom on Friday March 22nd from 12-2pm in lieu of World TB Day. This year, our focus  was on Contact Investigation.

To view powerpoint presentations used in the polycom, view the following:

1. Intro and Going Forward

2. Epi.World TB Day.2019

3. Contact investigation tools

*The polycom recording will be available by Wednesday March 27th; it can be accessed here via VPN in the meantime*

Spreading the Word!

Information Board by Connie Dennis-Booker, RN, MSN

Petersburg Health Department, Crater Health District, is helping to spread the word of TB & LTBI for World TB Day with this exciting information-board. Raising awareness is a crucial factor in the work towards elimination, so taking advantage of opportunities like this is a great way to inform and fight back against TB & LTBI! Way to go Connie Dennis-Booker and Crater Health District!

Central Shenandoah Health District Nurses Honor their Patients

Waynesboro Health Department nurses were featured on the Center for Disease Control’s facebook page.  The team consists of:  (From left to right) Sonia Gwaneza, Community Outreach Worker; Aubree Moore, RN, Supervisor; Sharon O’Dell, RN, Public Health Nurse; and Tylar Marcum, RN, Public Health Nurse. Thank you ladies for fighting to end the stigma around TB!

November 2018

Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI) became reportable on November 14th in support of our goal of TB elimination.  Please see the TB Infection page of our website for more information.

The submission process for contact investigations has been updated.  The revised instructions for submission and updated forms can be found on our website on the Forms for Local Health Departments page. This change has been made to help alleviate the burden of reporting this information at three time intervals.

There is a job opening in our unit for the head of TB and Newcomer Health.  This will be the TB Controller position for the state.  Please pass the word and visit the job posting.

A New TB Nurse Training on December 11 in Hanover, Virginia.  This is a training for nurses who are new to TB (not necessarily new to nursing) and have been working in TB for less than 1 year.  Nurses who have attended this training in the past are NOT eligible to attend again as space is limited.  Nurses must complete the pre-requisite of the CDC Core Curriculum on Tuberculosis – found here.  It is estimated to take around 6 and 1/2 hours to complete this curriculum.  Health Districts will need to cover travel expenses.  Lunch will be provided.  Registration for this training is closed as the course is full.

The TB and Newcomer Health Program is focusing on the examination of TB classified individuals as part of program evaluation efforts.  A presentation on this was given at the Annual TB and Refugee Nurse Training and the archived presentation can be found on our website on the Training page.  Each health district has received a district level report with their performance.  We would encourage you to reflect on the performance and brainstorm/discuss with your teams about your successes and challenges.