Screening children from overseas for infections: is it justified?

Abstract:

OBJECTIVES:To investigate current practice of screening children from abroad for infections after coming to the United Kingdom, and to make recommendations for future practice. DESIGN:A review of literature and a questionnaire sent to all health authorities and boards in the United Kingdom. SETTING:All health authorities and boards in the United Kingdom. SUBJECTS:167 Health authorities or boards that completed questionnaires (response rate 80%), 59 of which used a screening programme. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:Response to questionnaire on policies for screening children for infections on their return from overseas. RESULTS:12 Of the 59 authorities screened all children and one screened only those from the West Indian subcontinent. 13 Authorities excluded children from school while awaiting results; 58 screened for tuberculosis and four for diphtheria. CONCLUSIONS:There is a wide variation in screening policies around the country with no national consensus. Screening for diphtheria, typhoid, and salmonellosis is hard to justify and is probably not effective. Screening for tuberculosis, however, is supported by many authorities, is widely practised, and probably is effective. There is a strong case for rationalisation of screening.

journal_name

BMJ

authors

Shabde N,Waterston T

doi

10.1136/bmj.301.6755.800

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

1990-10-06 00:00:00

pages

800-2

issue

6755

eissn

0959-8138

issn

1756-1833

journal_volume

301

pub_type

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