Dear Campus Community,
The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has informed UCI of a tuberculosis case on campus. The student case was diagnosed by their healthcare provider, who then notified OCHCA and was reported to UCI on May 13. The student resides off campus, is receiving treatment, and is being closely followed by the OCHCA Pulmonary Disease Services Clinic.
OCHCA conducted an investigation on campus last week to determine locations of exposure and who may have been in contact with the student during the exposure period, which was determined to be between February 1 and May 12. Individuals who have been identified through the OCHCA investigation are being directly notified.
TB is a disease that can spread through the air when an infectious person coughs or otherwise releases the bacteria from their lungs or throat. Prolonged close contact in the same airspace is typically required, and it cannot be spread by surfaces, toilets, clothes, food, water, handshakes or other casual contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Students who received an exposure notification are advised to get tested at the Student Health Center by following the directions for scheduling an appointment through their Student Health Portal.
Faculty and staff who received exposure notifications are advised to get tested at our occupational health partner, Newport Urgent Care. Faculty and staff with additional questions and concerns should contact the Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management office in Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCHCA officials have informed us that no additional preventative measures are required on campus beyond the outreach and screening of those identified as exposed. At this time, we see no reason to disrupt classes or schedules, so normal operations are in place. OCHCA has further advised that there is no need for tracking or clearance for those who were exposed.
Unless you have been notified, you do not need to be screened for TB and no action is required. While there is no vaccine for TB widely used or required in the U.S., a TB test is mandated for UC students to enroll and matriculate which helps to reduce the risk of TB on campus.
Below are links to resources with additional information about TB:
Orange County Health Care Agency
California Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American College Health Association
We will continue to work closely with OCHCA to ensure the safety and health of our campus community.
Albert Chang, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Student Health Center