POLICY STATEMENT & ACTION PLAN
REGARDING TUBERCULOSIS (TB)
The primary response of the Westminster College Wellness Center to a TB alert will be the safety and education to students, faculty, staff, and parents. Guidelines for this institution will be derived from the best currently available medical facts about TB and in conjunction with CDC guidelines, American College Health Association, World Health Organization, International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, national TB control programs, and local state health code. Westminster College and the Wellness Center staff will direct and oversee educational efforts to ensure adequate response to a potential TB alert.
Current knowledge indicates that not everyone infected with TB becomes sick or able to spread to others. Individuals with TB may either have active TB or latent TB infection (LTBI). Individuals with LTBI do not feel sick, do not have symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. Additionally, individuals with active TB can be treated and individuals with LTBI can take medication to ensure that they do not develop active TB. Westminster’s goals regarding TB-related issues are:
1. To identify and detect potential TB cases on campus and respond with appropriate health care.
2. To increase awareness of TB and TB related conditions by distribution of current and factual information.
3. To provide education necessary to prevent further spread of the disease.
4. To recommend appropriate referrals for affected individuals.
Institutional Response to Persons with TB or TB Related Conditions
Westminster College will analyze and respond to individual cases of TB or TB related conditions on campus on a case by case basis. The Wellness Center will assume a coordinating role in providing consistent and reasonable analysis of each case presented. In carrying out this role, the Wellness Center may utilize and obtain information from the individual's physician (with the individual's consent), public health officials, and Westminster College personnel. Guidelines for dealing with such affected persons will be derived from the most current epidemiological facts available from the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
All medical information received about persons with TB or TB related conditions on campus will be handled in a confidential manner in accordance with the Wellness Center policies on confidentiality and the "Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974," provided that cases will be reported to appropriate state and federal (governmental) officials as may be required by law. Current medical recommendations from the State Health Department are to include TB testing information in the patient’s medical chart for the patient’s own benefit. Thus, the Westminster College Student Health Clinic will include such information in the health chart with the students signed consent to this.
Policy Regarding Immunization and TB Screening
Westminster College has a legitimate interest in the welfare of all students, employees and visitors to the campus. In this regard, and to the best of its ability, every precaution will be taken to ensure that an employee's or student's condition does not present a health and/or safety hazard to others. Given the current epidemiological facts about TB and TB-related conditions and in compliance with other college health care provider standards, Westminster College retains a policy related to immunization (see below) and requires that all International students and students at risk complete a TB screening Westminster College, however, retains the right to alter the below statement and policy, as more current medical information is made public.
All students entering Westminster College for the first time must have documented proof of measles, mumps and rubella immunity, and a TDaP tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis booster within the past 10 years, and a questionnaire screening for tuberculosis. This documentation is required prior to class attendance. Documentation of immunity may be accomplished by a) written proof of vaccination or b) proof of immunity by titer (a blood test). If you do not have either of these documentations, please contact Jackie Pritchett, clinic coordinator of The Wellness Center, for assistance in documentation.
Note: Exemptions from these requirements may be accepted by the institution for medical or religious reasons. These exemptions will be granted only after written evidence is submitted to the Dean of Student Life or his/her designated staff member. If a measles outbreak occurs, all students who do not have the appropriate measles immunity documented through the college may be required to leave campus.
Westminster College does not require the hepatitis B or the Meningococcal vaccine; however we strongly encourage students to follow the recommendation of the American College Health Association:
All college students are strongly urged to receive the hepatitis B vaccine, especially high-risk students, i.e. those who are sexually active with more than one sex partner, those who engage in unprotected sex, those who have had another sexually transmitted disease, or those who share needles for injecting drugs (10/94).
The American College Health Association (ACHA), which represents about one-half of colleges with student health services in the United States, released a statement recommending that "college health services [take] a more proactive role in alerting students and their parents about the dangers of meningococcal disease" and that "college students consider vaccination against potentially fatal meningococcal disease."
RESPONSE/ACTION PLAN ACTIVE TB:
Step 1: Identification
All International students and those that have additional high risk factors will be required to complete a TB test. If results from the TB test indicate a potential TB infection, students will be referred immediately to appropriate health professionals that will conduct further testing (e.g. CT scan, TB blood tests, sputum or tissue sample and collection). Additionally, precautionary steps may be implemented to ensure the safety students, faculty, and staff. Once the student and The Wellness Center or Westminster College is notified that a student has active TB the following steps will be taken.
Step 2: Reporting Agency (Missouri Health Department)
In accordance with Missouri State laws and CDC guidelines, a report will be made to the local and state health departments regarding a student’s active TB infection. Westminster College and The Wellness Center will work with and in collaboration with the Health Department to identify at risk individuals and provide appropriate treatment.
Diseases shall be reported to local departments of health according to their guidelines for reporting of communicable diseases.
1. Surveillance of all infections shall be done on an episode-by-episode basis. This information shall enable the Director of Health Services and the Health Department to take adequate control measures, which may vary from detailed study of an individual case to large scale epidemiological investigations.
2. A list of diseases which must be reported to the Missouri Department of Health should be on record.
Step 3: Emergency Meeting Necessary Personnel
Immediately after notification to the Health Department, a meeting will be with below listed necessary personnel and response plan will be followed through to address student, faculty, staff, and community safety, media coverage, and parental concern.
Step 4: Communication through Media
Media coverage will be handled through the appropriate channels and the Wellness Center Executive Director, Health Department, Media Relations and other staff will work to ensure that proper individuals are notified. The purpose and message of media coverage will include the following information: procedures regarding Westminster College response plan to active TB, health department contact information, frequently asked questions, need for medical attention, and resources.
Step5: Investigation, Prioritization, and Treatment
Necessary steps will be taken to interview potential at risk individuals and in compliance with the Health Department and CDC. Individuals will be prioritized according to their risk factors and treated in that order. Individuals who may be at risk include individuals with close, regular, prolonged contact of the active TB patient. Therefore in accordance with policy, information will be released to the campus through appropriate channels (e.g. college website, email to students, faculty, staff, parent’s association, local media, etc.) instructing students, staff, faculty, and parents regarding the college’s proposed action plan and how to respond. Individuals will be given instructions regarding location of treatment options, health department response plan, and necessary contact information. Additionally, up to date information will be provided on the Westminster College Wellness Center website.
Download Westminster's Policy Statement and Action Plan for Tuberculosis as a PDF:
Westminster TB Action Plan
Download the pamphlet at the link below to access questions and answers about tuberculosis.