Tuberculosis Testing

QuantiFERON TB testing is done at Sindecuse Health Center with an appointment during regular health center hours

International student testing requirement

Western Michigan University requires all international students from countries where TB is endemic to be screened for TB.

Why do I need to be screened for TB?

The purpose of screening for TB is to identify individuals with TB disease (active TB) or latent TB infection. Both TB disease and latent infection should be treated.

What if my TB test is positive?

  • A chest X-ray will be required to check for active TB in the lungs.
  • If the chest X-ray is normal and you have no symptoms of active TB, you have inactive, latent TB.
  • If you have an abnormal chest X-ray or symptoms of active TB, you may be required to have additional tests.

What if I am diagnosed with TB infection?

Most people have inactive, latent TB, which cannot be transmitted and does not cause symptoms. Treatment with antibiotics is recommended in order to prevent active TB. You can attend school normally.

Active TB can be transmitted and is very serious, possibly causing permanent damage and even death. It is curable with appropriate medicine, and treatment with antibiotics is required. You will not be allowed to attend school until you have a release from your medical provider.

Will TB test results affect my student status?

Having TB will not affect your student status. Students who have TB infection are not discriminated against in any way. Western Michigan University must report cases of active TB (not latent TB) to the Kalamazoo County Health Department for investigation of possible transmission to others. Otherwise, health records at WMU are confidential and cannot be released without patient consent.

What if I had a BCG vaccine in my country? Do I still need to have TB Test?

Many international students received BCG vaccine, which reduced their TB risk as children. However, BCG vaccine effectiveness declines with time. A TB test is still indicated for those who have previously received BCG.

Who is exempt from this screening requirement?

The only international individuals exempt from this policy are those who were born in a country with a low rate of tuberculosis:

Albania
Andorra
Antigua & Barbuda
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Barbados
Belgium
British Virgin Islands
Canada
Chile
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominica
Egypt
Finland
France
French Polynesia
Germany
Greece
Grenada
Hungary
Iceland
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Jordan
Lebanon
Luxembourg
Malta
Mexico
Montenegro
Nauru
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Oman
Puerto Rico
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Saint Lucia
Samoa
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
West Bank & Gaza Strip

Where should I send my information?

Sindecuse Health Center
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5445
Attention: Director of Nursing

Other questions?

Call (269) 387-3290.