Missouri Senate approves stricter TB bill

David Sater

The Missouri Senate recently passed legislation that would require more people to be screened for tuberculosis and enable prosecution of the people who spread the disease.

If signed into law, the measure would require universities and colleges to develop screenings for faculty and students considered high-risk to contract TB. Patients with TB that violate quarantine by going to work with the active form of the disease or recklessly spreading the bacteria could be charged with a misdemeanor, Associated Press reports.

“It shall be a Class B misdemeanor for any individual knowingly infected with active pulmonary or laryngeal TB to expose another person without that person’s consent or report to work with active contagious TB and without following the prescribed treatment or by violating the requirements of a commitment order,” the bill said, according to Associated Press. “If a victim contracts TB, it shall be a Class A misdemeanor.”

The bill would also require any volunteers and employees of healthcare facilities to be tested for TB upon employment, which would follow the recommendation of the most recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention federal guidelines.

Republican Sen. David Sater, a pharmacist from Cassville, is the sponsor of SB197. The Missouri Senate sent the bill to the House with a unanimous vote on Thursday.

The state of Missouri experienced 89 cases of TB in 2012, Associated Press reports.

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