Reporting tuberculosis to Public Health
Latent tuberculosis infection and active tuberculosis disease are reportable to the medical officer of health. Patient consent is not needed for reporting this information. This is under the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act.
- Active tuberculosis disease reporting
To report suspected or confirmed cases of active tuberculosis disease:
- Call Niagara Region Public Health Infectious Disease Program at 905-688-8248 ext. 7330 within one working day
Tell patients with potential pulmonary tuberculosis to self-isolate until initial smear results are available.
- Positive tuberculin skin test reporting
- Follow-up to the positive tuberculin skin test report
- Every positive tuberculin skin test reported to the Infectious Disease Program is looked into. This is to confirm latent tuberculosis infection.
- A public health nurse will educate the patient about tuberculosis. They will review the optional treatment of latent tuberculosis infection.
- If patients choose to get treatment for latent tuberculosis infection, fax a prescription to the Public Health Infectious Disease Program at 905-682-6470
- Medications to treat tuberculosis are given to patients by a public health nurse once a prescription is received from the health care provider
Statistics in Niagara
Call the Infectious Disease Program at 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7330 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Ordering tuberculosis medication
Order free medications for treating tuberculosis (latent tuberculosis infection or active tuberculosis). Call the Infectious Disease Program at 905-688-8248 ext. 7330 or fax a prescription to 905-682-6470.
When faxing in a prescription, include the purpose and duration of treatment.
Tuberculosis Diagnostic and Treatment Services for Uninsured Persons Program (TB-UP)
Tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment services for uninsured persons is a Ministry of Health program. The program is for people in Ontario who are not covered by Ontario Health Insurance Plan, Interim Federal Health or any other health insurance plan. It helps with assessment, diagnosis and treatment for active / suspect tuberculosis. The program processes payments to primary care providers, laboratories and radiology service providers.
Patients who do not have other medical insurance / coverage for tuberculosis services and who are either:
- An active or potential case of tuberculosis (pulmonary or extra-pulmonary)
- A contact of an active tuberculosis case
- Patients at high-risk of developing active tuberculosis as determined by Public Health
Registration for Tuberculosis Diagnostic and Treatment Services for Uninsured Persons Program
Contact the Infectious Disease Program at 905-688-8248 ext. 7330 for registration information before giving service to eligible patients of the program.
The Ministry of Health will not issue payments for patients who get tuberculosis diagnostic and / or treatment services before registering for the program.
Tuberculosis medical surveillance
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada makes everyone planning to live, work or stay in Canada for six or more months do an immigration medical exam. If the exam shows the person to be at high risk for getting active tuberculosis, they must complete medical surveillance.
Patients will get a tuberculosis assessment form when completing medical surveillance. The health care provider will fill it out and return it to Public Health. Public Health will let Immigration know when the patient meets medical surveillance requirements.
Tuberculin skin testing
People who need a test for school, volunteering or work should ask their health care provider or contact a local walk-in clinic. Tuberculin skin tests (Tubersol) are free for those in Ontario who meet the eligibility criteria.
Criteria for publicly funded tuberculin skin test (Tubersol)
- People who have been in contact with someone with infectious tuberculosis including contact with an active case or those who live / work in a high-risk environment
- Tests deemed to be "medically necessary" by the client's primary care provider or nurse practitioner. This is based on the level of risk found in the Canadian Tuberculosis Standards 8th Edition.
- Required by an educational institution for admission or to continue in a daycare or preschool program, or a program of study in a school, community college, university or other educational institution
- Individuals under the age of 65 who are entering long-term care facilities. Screening through a tuberculin skin test is not recommended for those over the age of 65.
- Canadian Tuberculosis Standards 8th Edition: Best practice guidance for diagnosis and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection and active tuberculosis disease
- Infectious Disease Program memo: For health care providers in Niagara to highlight changes and updates to Canadian Tuberculosis Standards 8th Edition
- Bacille Calmette-Guérin world atlas: Interactive information on Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine policies and practices for over 180 countries
- Online tuberculin skin test / interferon gamma release assay interpreter: A tool to estimate the risk of active tuberculosis for an individual with a positive tuberculin skin test and help with decision-making for treatment
- Government of Canada information for health care professionals
- Public Health Ontario information on tuberculosis
- Order clinical and patient resources: Niagara Region infectious disease resources for tuberculosis skin test guidelines and latent tuberculosis infection treatment pathway