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Thread: BCG

  1. #1
    FLK's Avatar
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    BCG

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    For those students going overseas for clinical rotations, you may be asked to get a BCG vaccine.
    I highly suggest that you do NOT get a BCG vaccine, as it will only make your life much more difficult.
    Most places in the USA require an annual PPD test. Getting a BCG will mean a positive test for a long period, and you will be constantly be explaining the result. It's a big hassle as it is just getting the annual PPD, let alone if it keeps coming back positive.
    In fact, I have had this conversation with ID docs here and told them that when I was in England, the hospital wanted me to get the BCG and I refused. Glad I didn't get it since they reassured me that I did the right thing by refusing it

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    FRNC is offline Member 511 points
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    BCG

    My 2cents:

    I had a BCG 30 years ago when I was working with"Hot" TB patients. I've been positvie ever since. In fact I don't bother anymore because I still get a strong reaction even with 1/4 of the normal PPD dose. When I was exposed to "active" TB on a daily basis I got a chest X-ray every six months. The results were always negative. I've never had any symptoms. I don't know for sure if the BCG protected me from TB infection or if my protection came from the "universal" precautions I took with mask, gown, & gloves (changing between each patient) as well as constant hand washing between patients. I still get a chest X-ray every couple years. (I'll probably crump from the radiation esxposure).

    BCG is a personal decision. Read the latest literature. Make an informed decision. Chances are you're going to be exposed to active TB sometime in you career.

    p.s. My exposure to "active" TB patients was not in a third world country.
    It was in sunny Southern Califonia.

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    interesting link

    the latest CDC recs are from 1996, but appear to be the current recommendations

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00041047.htm

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