Tuberculosis Screening Policy

for International Students

 

Tuberculosis Screening Procedure 

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

 

Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially life-threatening disease that has the ability to spread quickly in the close confines of classrooms and student residences on a university campus. Nearly one-third of the world’s population has the disease. Students from countries with a high incidence of tuberculosis (as designated by the World Health Organization) and other students who have had extended visits to those countries are at a greater risk for carrying the disease. Of those with the disease, most have the latent form. Even so, on a college campus it is important to take precautionary measures.

 

TB Testing Procedure for Newly Admitted International Students

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC), in consideration of the recommendations from the American College Health Association (April 2016), has developed a procedure for mandatory TB screening of newly admitted international students from countries where there is a high incidence of tuberculosis (as designated by the World Health Organization). 

 

All international students who apply to TAMU-CC will be asked screening questions during the application process. If a student is identified as someone who is at high risk for exposure to TB, a hold will be placed on their account and they will be contacted via email by the TAMU-CC Health Center so that they may begin a TB testing process, as outlined below. The student may enroll in the first semester of classes while being tested for TB but must comply with the procedure below in order to enroll in a second semester of classes.

 

  • A newly admitted international student who is identified as in need of a PPD skin test will be required to provide proof of a skin test and reading to TAMU-CC Health Center (located in Sandpiper building) by the 8th day of class.
    • Students can take the PPD test at the TAMU-CC Health Center for a cost of $10* or at the Nueces County Health Department for $15*. The test can also be taken at many pharmacies and physicians’ offices at the student’s expense.
    • The PPD skin test must be taken in the United States no more than six months prior to the start of the semester but after the visit or residency in the high-incidence country.
    • If the skin test is negative, the student is cleared and the TB Hold is removed from the student’s account.
  • If the PPD skin test is positive, the student must have a chest X-ray and provide proof of the X-ray to the TAMU-CC Health Center by the 12th day of class.
    • In Corpus Christi, X-rays can be done as a walk-in patient at Radiology Associates, 5742 Spohn Drive (begins with Route 37 on the RTA bus from campus; involves transfers), or Radiology & Imaging of South Texas, 3226 S. Alameda Street (Route 5 on the RTA bus from campus; no transfers). Students can pay in cash for the X-rays (around $30* at RA and $65* at R&I) or present their insurance cards.
    • If the X-ray is negative, the student is cleared and the TB Hold is removed from the student’s account.

 

  • If the X-ray is positive, the student must make immediate contact with the Nueces County Health Department at 361-826-7247 for further testing. The Health Department is located at 1702 Horne Road (begins with Route 5 on the RTA bus from campus; involves transfers).

 

 

 

Non-compliance with the above TB Testing Procedure can:

  • Cause serious illness and death.
  • Result in disenrollment from the university.
  • Affect a student’s ability to stay in the US on an F-1 or J-1 visa.
  • Require intervention by a university official.

 

TB Testing Recommendations for Continuing Students and Faculty

It is recommended that students and faculty who travel to countries with high incidence of tuberculosis discuss their specific travel circumstances before the trip with a health care provider who can determine the appropriate evaluation. If a month or more is spent in the country, it is recommended that a TB skin test be conducted 4-6 weeks after returning to the US.

 

For More Information about TB

Center for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/

 

The World Health Organization:  http://www.who.int/tb/en/

 

TAMU-CC Health Center: http://healthcenter.tamucc.edu

 

Appeals

Appeals can be made to the associate vice president for Academic Affairs by calling 361-825-3060.

 

Campus Contact

For additional information on this procedure, please contact the TAMU-CC Health Center by calling 361-825-2601.  

 

*Prices are subject to change.