Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that targets the lungs and can cause serious illness or death. It is spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, shouting, speaking or singing. Some infected people will not experience any symptoms because their bodies are able to fight off the infection. This is called latent or inactive TB, and is not infectious. Other people may be unable to fight off the bacteria and are said to have active TB. These people will experience symptoms and are infectious.
People with latent TB can be prescribed medication to reduce the risk of developing active TB.
Requirements for students
The Victorian Standardised Student Induction Protocol requires students to be screened for tuberculosis prior to commencement of clinical placement.
Tuberculosis screening must be done no more than 3 months prior to course commencement. The following documentation is accepted as evidence of tuberculosis screening:
- Written statement from an AHPRA-registered medical practitioner advising the student has no symptoms of active tuberculosis and advising that the student has received a tuberculin skin test or interferon gamma release assay (such as the QuantiFERON-TB Gold assay) indicating no tuberculosis infection; or
- Written statement from an AHPRA-registered specialist infectious disease or respiratory physician advising the student has no active tuberculosis infection or has otherwise been assessed as fit for placement (for example, if receiving treatment and deemed non-infectious).
Students should ask their medical practitioner to complete the Tuberculosis Screening Form, which may be submitted as evidence of appropriate tuberculosis screening.
All students are required to seek immediate medial advice following any possible exposure, whether or not the exposure occurs during a study-related activity.
Students are not required to disclose any current infections to the University, however it is strongly recommended that concerned students arrange a confidential discussion with their course coordinator or other senior academic to discuss study and career implications.