TB Screening Requirements (Foreign-Born Students)

1. Because Tuberculosisis so common globally, it is easier to list countries of low TB prevalence rather than high. International students from these countries are EXEMPT from the TB screening requirement.

2. International students from countries where tuberculosis is endemic must meet the Arkansas state-mandated tuberculosis screening requirement. These students will have a “See Health Services” hold placed on their account. Students will not be able to register for courses until the hold is removed. The hold will not be removed until the TB screening requirement is complete.

The TB screening MUST be completed in the United States
and within the last 6 months.

Arkansas requires that the screening be done via the TSPOT method. This method requires that a sample of blood be drawn from a vein in the arm. If the screening is performed at UA Little Rock Health Services, the blood sample is sent to our off-site laboratory, Oxford Diagnostics.  The results usually are available within 48 hours.

There are 3 possible results:
1. NEGATIVE: There is no sign of TB infection. No further follow up is required.
2.  BORDERLINE: Results are uncertain; a repeat blood test is required in 4-6 weeks
3.  POSITIVE: The TB germ (bacteria) is present, indicating likely TB infection.

If the results are positive, the RN will contact the student and advise him/her to return to Health Services for further instructions (A positive result DOES NOT mean the student has active tuberculosis).

During the return visit, the RN will provide information on getting a chest x-ray at Radiology Associates.  After the chest x-ray is complete, the technician at Radiology Associates will provide the student with a copy of the chest x-ray on disc.  This disc MUST be returned to Health Services.

Also during the return visit, the RN will talk about a medication that can reduce the risk of developing active tuberculosis by 90%. Through a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health, this medication (valued at over $600 per student) is offered at no cost. Students who accept the medication will visit the clinic weekly (for 12 consecutive weeks) to take the medication. If the student finishes the entire 12 weeks of medication, he/she will no longer be required to get a chest x-ray (unless he/she later develops symptoms). Students who decline the medication will be required to get an annual chest x-ray.