Health Care Providers are required by Florida law to report all tuberculosis suspects and/or cases, within 72 hours of diagnosis, to the health department in the county in which the patient lives or your office is located.
The Who, What, Where, and How of Reporting
Who Must Report?
Each individual who makes a diagnosis of or provides medical services to a person with suspected or confirmed active tuberculosis.
- Examples include: M.D's, D.O's, nurses, pharmacists, nursing home administrators, radiology technicians, respiratory therapists, medical examiners, medical technologists, and infection control officers.
What Must Be Reported?
The following information must be reported to the health department:
- Patient demographic information, including name, address, home telephone number, date of birth, race and sex.
- Pertinent diagnostic information including, but not limited to results of Mantoux skin tests, laboratory tests, radiographic examinations and physical examinations.
- Name, title, address and telephone number of the diagnosing physician or individual submitting the report.
Where and How Do I Report?
Reports must be submitted to the County Health Department by telephone, fax or mail within 72 hours of diagnosis.
Reports should be submitted to the health department in the county in which:
- the patient lives or
- your office is located
Subsequent Status Reports
Status reports on the patient's treatment and progress must be submitted to the county health department every three months until the case is closed and follow-up is completed.
A client who has negative cultures but has a positive tuberculin skin test, is on two or more anti-tuberculosis medications, has signs and symptoms compatible with tuberculosis, and shows radiographic or clinical improvement while on two or more anti-tuberculosis medications.
A person has active tuberculosis when either of the following occur:
- A culture specimen taken from any source has tested positive for tuberculosis and the person has not completed an appropriate prescribed course of medication for tuberculosis disease, or
- There is current radiologic, clinical, or laboratory evidence sufficient to establish a medical diagnosis of tuberculosis for which treatment is indicated and the person has not completed an appropriate prescribed course of medication for tuberculosis.
A TB Suspect is a client who fits one or more of the following categories:
- A client who has any signs or symptoms suggestive of TB, such as a prolonged productive cough of over two weeks duration, unexplained low grade fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, hemoptysis, or easy fatigueability.
- A client who has chest radiographic findings suggestive of tuberculosis
- A client whose sputum smears indicate acid fast bacilli (AFB).
NOTE: A client who is suspected of having tuberculosis may or may not have a positive tuberculin skin test (PPD).
A TB Case is a client who fits one of the following categories:
- Laboratory criteria for diagnosis (Culture Positive Case)
A case may be verified by the laboratory case definition with at least one of the following criteria: 1) isolation of M. tuberculosis complex from a clinical specimen, OR 2) demonstration of M. tuberculosis complex from a clinical specimen by nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), OR 3) demonstration of acid-fast bacilli (AFB) in a clinical specimen when a culture has not been or cannot be obtained or is falsely negative or contaminated.
- Clinical case criteria (Culture Negative Case)
A case may be verified by the clinical case definition in the presence of ALL of the following clinical criteria: 1) a positive tuberculin skin test (TST) result or positive interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) result for M. tuberculosis, AND 2) other signs and symptoms compatible with TB (e.g., abnormal chest radiograph, abnormal chest computerized tomography scan or other chest imaging study, or clinical evidence of current disease, AND 3) treatment with two or more anti-TB drugs, AND 4) a completed diagnostic evaluation.
- Provider Diagnosis (Provider Diagnosed Case)
Provider diagnosis is not a component of the case definition for TB as described in Appendix A. (http://www.cdc.gov/tb/statistics/reports/2012/appendixA.htm). However, when cases of TB are diagnosed but do not meet either the clinical or laboratory case definition, reporting areas have the option of verifying TB cases based on provider diagnosis as described in Appendix B (http://www.cdc.gov/tb/statistics/reports/2012/appendixB.htm).
The Florida Department of Health is here to serve you. Contact us with any questions you may have regarding Tuberculosis at 850-245-4350.
In addition to our main contact line other contact lists are available for your aid. Special Note: These lists are all in .pdf format of less than 100 kb and will need Adobe Acrobat's FREE PDF Reader to view them. Get it for FREE from Adobe by visiting www.adobe.com