HB13: Tuberculosis; establishing library of isolates for purpose of disease strain analysis.

Offered January 11, 2006
Prefiled November 30, 2005
A BILL to amend and reenact § 32.1-50 of the Code of Virginia, relating to reporting of tuberculosis strains with antimicrobial drug susceptibilities.
Patron-- Hamilton

Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 32.1-50 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 32.1-50. Examination of persons suspected of having active tuberculosis disease; reporting; report forms; report schedule; laboratory reports and required samples.

A. Any local health director may request any person having or reasonably suspected of having active tuberculosis disease to be examined immediately for the purpose of ascertaining the presence or absence of the disease. Such examination may be made by any licensed physician or licensed nurse practitioner selected by such person at his own expense and approved by the local health director or by the local health director at no cost to such person.

B. Each physician or nurse practitioner practicing in the Commonwealth who diagnoses or treats a person for active tuberculosis disease as defined in § 32.1-49.1 and each person in charge of a medical care facility providing inpatient or outpatient diagnosis or treatment for active tuberculosis disease shall report to the local health director within such time period and in such manner as may be prescribed by regulations of the Board. Such report, at a minimum, shall include an initial report when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person has active tuberculosis disease, and a subsequent report when a person ceases treatment for tuberculosis disease. Cessation of treatment may be inferred when the person (i) fails to keep a scheduled appointment, (ii) relocates without transferring care, or (iii) discontinues care either upon or against the advice of the treating physician or nurse practitioner.

C. The initial disease report shall include the following: the affected person's name; date of birth; gender; address; pertinent clinical, radiographic, microbiologic, and pathologic reports, whether final or pending; such other information as is needed to locate the patient for follow-up; and any other information as prescribed by regulations of the Board.

D. Subsequent reports shall be submitted within such time, at such frequency, and in such manner as may be prescribed by regulations of the Board and shall provide updated clinical status, bacteriologic and radiographic results, assessment of treatment adherence, name of current care provider, and any other information as prescribed by the Board.

E. Every director of any laboratory doing business in the Commonwealth shall, according to the manner and schedule as determined by the Board, report any result diagnostic of or highly correlated with active tuberculosis disease, whether testing is done in-house or referred to an out-of-state laboratory, including cultures positive for tubercle bacilli and smears suggestive of tubercle bacilli, and shall report the results of tests for antimicrobial susceptibility performed on cultures positive for tubercle bacilli. Each director of any laboratory shall also submit a representative and viable sample of the initial culture to the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services or other laboratory designated by the Board to receive such specimen in order to (i) ensure testing for antimicrobial susceptibility on each initial isolate from a person with active tuberculosis disease, and (ii) establish a library of such isolates for the purpose of disease strain analysis as indicated by epidemiological investigations.; however, this requirement may be fulfilled by submission to the local health director of a report of antimicrobial drug susceptibilities performed by a laboratory certified by existing state or national agencies to perform such testing. The intention to file a written report shall be communicated to the local health director at the time the finding of a culture positive for tubercle bacilli is initially reported.