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Free Content Post-migration screening for active tuberculosis in Victoria, Australia

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SETTING: Tuberculosis (TB) screening clinic.

OBJECTIVE: To determine TB prevalence at entry, screening yield and incidence in immigrants on a TB health undertaking (TBU) who were selected for post-migration screening due to an abnormal chest radiograph (CXR) in Victoria, Australia, in the years 1996–2006.

METHOD: Rates of notified TB calculated from linkage of a screening programme database with the Victorian TB database.

RESULTS: Prevalence at entry (cases notified between arrival in Australia and 6 months after the screening registration date) was 505 per 100 000 population; yield at entry (prevalent cases detected by the screening programme) was 420/100 000, and incidence (cases notified between 6 and 12 months after screening registration date) was 160/100 000 person-years. Persons issued a TBU after applying from within Australia (on-shore) had a prevalence of 1876/100 000, seven-fold higher than those issued a TBU outside Australia (off-shore, 254/100 000). The combination of an abnormal CXR and a tuberculin skin test ≥ 15 mm carried a prevalence of notified TB of 2907/100 000.

CONCLUSION: Selective post-migration screening can achieve a high yield of notified TB.
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Keywords: immigration; screening; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Respiratory and Sleep Disorders Medicine, Western Hospital, Footscray, Victoria, Australia 2: Department of Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: 01 January 2012

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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