Posted: Oct 25, 2013 7:13 PM by MTN News
HELENA - According to the Montana Department of Health & Human Services, the nation is experiencing a shortage in tuberculosis skin tests because producers have not been making enough to keep up with demand.
Officials say there is no way to tell how long the shortage will last, but there are alternatives and strategies they suggest to avoid the problem.
DPHHS spokesman Jim Murphy said, "There is another product as well that works very similar to the tuberculin that can be used. For instance, if we have an outbreak or a case, we would make sure that the people that need to be tested, would get tested. For those other folks that need it as a condition for employment, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending that maybe those people just put that off for a short time. As long as they're healthy, that does not cause a concern for us."
Murphy also says that blood tests can also be used to test for the TB bacteria.