TB tests resume; DOH doesn't see expected numbers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

TB tests resume; DOH doesn't see expected numbers

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A national shortage of fluid used in TB testing has passed, and the state Department of Health has resumed skin tests. The DOH has increased the amount of staff at testing locations and hours of operation to deal with the increased number of people requiring TB clearance.

The only problem is, they are seeing the number of people they thought they would.

"I think a lot of people weren't aware there was a shortage and we stopped testing for a while, and folks who were aware that we stopped testing may not be aware that we're now testing again" said Dr Elizabeth MacNeill, who is a tuberculosis physician for the DOH.

The DOH estimates that approximately 7,000 people may require TB testing to meet school or employment requirements. It wants to make sure there isn't a massive rush when the August 9th deadline for having the test approaches.

"We haven't seen long lines, but we're ready for them. So if people have been staying away because they're worried about a long wait, don't worry--come on in" said Dr. MacNeill.

To find out if you need a TB test, and where to get one if you do, follow the link to the Department of Health's site:

http://hawaii.gov/health/family-child-health/contagious-disease/tb/index.html

 

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