Missouri bill looks to change college tuberculosis testing policy

May 3, 2013

Colleges in Missouri may need to create new tuberculosis testing policies in the near future.

Missouri Legislature passed a bill to Governor Jay Nixon, earlier today, which would require all Missouri colleges to develop targeted testing programs for TB.

The sponsor of this bill, Senator David Sater says these programs will bring awareness to the seriousness of TB and would come in questionnaire form.

“We are going to give the brochure to certain students,” he said. “To find out what countries they are from, what countries they visited, and whether or not they have come in contact with anyone with TB”

If individuals refuse to cooperate with these programs, the bill says they will not be able to enroll into classes at their university.

Sater says by tracking down individuals with the disease, Missouri can put more focus on bettering its TB patient treatment policies.

“For the last several years, the state has been shipping those patients to a facility in South Carolina,” he said. “For up to a year, they were given oral drug treatment for the case and then quarantined so they cannot spread the disease.”

With the help of the bill, the state would find buildings like hotels to temporarily serve as TB facilities.  

Sater says the bill would save the state thousands of dollars.