The Grand Forks Public Health Department protects the public by monitoring the residents of Grand Forks County for Tuberculosis (TB), and treating active cases of TB disease.

Updated Testing Guidelines at GFPH, 7.18.2019:

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is experiencing a shortage in tuberculin skin test antigens, which are used to perform tuberculin skin tests (TSTs). On May 17, 2019, the CDC published new recommendations for Tuberculosis (TB) screening, testing, and treatment of health care personnel (HCP). Although HCP should continue to be screened for TB upon hire (i.e., preplacement), annual HCP TB testing is not recommended unless there is a known exposure or threat of ongoing transmission. Annual testing should be replaced with annual TB education, symptom review and risk assessment. Click this link for more detailed CDC recommendations.

The North Dakota Department of Health published an algorithm for the use of tuberculin skin test antigens during the shortage. Click this link for additional information. Although TSTs are often required for students enrolled in a healthcare field, Grand Forks Public Health (GFPH) is at a critically low level of tuberculin skin test antigens. The shortage is expected to last anywhere from 3 to 10 months (subject to change).

As a result, effective July 29, 2019, GFPH will implement the following for HCP screening:

  • Annual TB testing will not be conducted.
  • The Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) blood test should be utilized in lieu of TSTs.
    • Please refer students to a facility that can provide this test.
  • If an IGRA is not available, GFPH can administer one TST. GFPH will not perform two-step TSTs. The second step will be deferred until the shortage has resolved.
  • When the GFPH TST supply is exhausted, all persons will be referred for IGRA blood tests.

These guidelines will remain in effect until the shortage has resolved. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Services at GFPH include: 

  • TB skin testing for baseline testing or if contacted by TB manager
  • Referral for evaluation of positive tests
  • Monitoring treatment for persons with TB infection (latent TB)
  • Providing free medication for the treatment of latent TB and active TB
  • Directly Observed Therapy for persons with active TB disease
  • Consultation with TB experts
  • Community education

Mantoux Tuberculin Skin Testing is available at Grand Forks Public Health by appointment Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday. To schedule an appointment call, 701-787-8100.

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