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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3612

Title: Using a Survey to Assess LTBI in Foreign-Born College Students in the Southeastern Pennsylvania / Philadelphia Metropolitan Area
Authors: Walter, Sean Kerry
Keywords: Public Health;Tuberculosis;Latent Infections;Immigrants;College Students;Pennsylvania;Philadelphia
Issue Date: 26-Sep-2011
Abstract: Tuberculosis (TB) in the United States (U.S.) has been declining steadily since the 1950’s; from 84,304 cases in 1953 to 11,545 in 2009.1 Accompanying this decline has been an increase in the proportion of foreign-born cases. In 1993, 29% of TB cases were foreign-born, but in 2009 they constituted 59%.2 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has seen a similar trend, where between 2007 and 2009, 53.2% of cases were foreign-born.3 One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) strategy is to test recent arrivals from high-incidence countries for latent TB infection (LTBI).4 One group not required to be tested is international students coming to the U.S. to attend college. This survey was developed to assess colleges in the Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia metro area, focusing on screening and testing practices. We hope to determine if schools with TB screening policies are better prepared to prevent TB than those without a policy. This survey aims to get a baseline of information on what is occurring regarding TB risk in college students. In addition, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s TB Control Program (PTBC) would like to get a sense of what effect a college-based TB screening policy has on preventing illness, as well as what assistance schools may require in relation to TB. The survey will be disseminated electronically to the 32 schools that are members of the Southeastern Pennsylvania College Health Nurses Association (SPCHNA), as well as a number of non-member schools. Overall, in the past 5 years, 40.0% (14) of all schools had seen cases of TB on their campus. Also, most of the surveyed schools (88.6%) indicated that they have a TB screening policy in place at their institution. However, only 51.4% of respondents felt their school needed a prevention policy, and only 40% indicated having an established plan to address an outbreak of disease with their local health department. PTBC should provide assistance to area colleges to develop their own screening programs, as well as establish a database to track college TB cases. Also, studying the feasibility of adapting other states’ targeted testing guidelines for LTBI will also help to reduce the burden of TB.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3612
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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