A new policy reconsidering school tuberculosis screening has been passed in Los Angeles in March 2012. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) is denying the universal obligatory TB testing for all the children entering school or kindergarten. Beginning with July 2012 this testing will become a part of the CA State physical examination already existing and referring to all the children entering the first grade. The harmful testing will take place only if a risk factor is presented.
The revision of the policy has been fulfilled by the recommendation of several authority institutions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This testing has been a problem for a long time because it may be harmful for the livers of children. The universal TB screening has been found an excessive procedure and lengthy preventive treatment regimens too dangerous. Now TB screening will be incorporated into the existing framework as well as targeted testing protocol will be.
Apart from that, the new policy has revised the matter of placing children in medical homes in order to provide comprehensive care. Additionally, interventions on finding TB cases have been focused. One of the objects of specific interest is contact investigations. At the same time, more attention will be paid to the groups of population with higher rates of TB risk. These groups are, for example, the homeless and those with HIV positive. It is significant to underline that changes are not expected to affect teachers or volunteers as well as pre-school children. After all, the new School TB Screening Policy has been introduced to make the best practice evidence based.