Tuberculosis Screening/Testing Information for New Students

Tuberculosis (TB) Screening

Why do I have to do this?

Missouri Law (RS 199.290) requires all Missouri institutions of higher education to perform a targeted tuberculosis testing program for all on-campus students. This law affects students who first enrolled for the spring 2014 semester or a subsequent semester and specifies that students must complete the requirement before registering for their second semester at the University.

What do I need to do?

You must complete a simple six-question online survey about possible tuberculosis exposure. The survey is accessed through My Missouri State. Select the Profile Tab, Wellness Channel, and follow the "Tuberculosis Screening Survey" link under the Student Programs heading.

For most students, completing the survey will fulfill the requirement and no further action will be required.

A few students, who have possible tuberculosis exposure risk factors found on the survey, will then need to complete a tuberculosis-screening test. If the test is negative, you will usually be done with the process at that point. If the test is positive, then the Taylor Health and Wellness Center treatment nurse will help you complete further testing and education as needed.

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection of the lungs or elsewhere in the body. It is common worldwide but rather uncommon in Missouri. 107 people in Missouri were physically ill with tuberculosis disease in 2011. Another 2,974 Missourians had documented tuberculosis infections in 2011 (i.e., carried the tuberculosis bacteria but did not have symptoms of disease). The population of Missouri exceeds 6 million; thus, only about 1 in 56,000 individuals was diagnosed with tuberculosis disease in 2011. Those with the tuberculosis disease received antibiotic treatment to resolve their disease. Those with the tuberculosis infection received education and an opportunity for preventive antibiotic pills to reduce their risk of developing tuberculosis disease in the future.

Most tuberculosis infection and disease in Missouri now occurs in certain high risk situations. It is very important for you to find out if you might have tuberculosis infection or disease so that helpful medication treatment can be given to reduce your risk and other people’s risk.

If you are a current student, with possible tuberculosis exposure risk factors found on your survey:

Please contact the Taylor Health and Wellness Center treatment nurse at 417-836-4020 at your earliest availability to arrange for the screening. The test will consist of a blood sample or a skin test.

If you are an incoming student, with possible tuberculosis exposure risk factors found on your survey, and if you are not yet on campus

  1. Please contact the Taylor Health and Wellness Center treatment nurse at 417-836-4020 who will help you complete a tuberculosis test at Taylor Health and Wellness Center or help you make arrangements with your own doctor/public health department or other qualified provider. These test results must be provided to the Taylor Health and Wellness Center treatment nurse as soon as possible. If the test is negative, then you will usually be done with the process at that point, OR
  2. Wait until you begin your first semester and arrange with the Taylor Health and Wellness Center treatment nurse for your tuberculosis test to be done at Taylor early in the semester.

What countries are classified as having a "high incidence" of tuberculosis?

See the World Health Organization list of countries with high Tuberculosis incidence.

Whom do I contact if I have more questions about this?

Please feel free to call the Taylor Health and Wellness Center treatment nurse at 417-836-4020.