9.09 Precautions against Communicable Diseases
Students exposed to, or with, infectious or communicable illnesses, including diarrheal illness; pertussis (whooping cough); shingles; tuberculosis (TB); methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA) infection; Group A strep infection; or draining lesions on the hands; must consult with Harvard University Health Services/the Medical Area Health Services. In addition, students in such circumstances should consult with the infection control office at the institution wherein the exposure occurred or where the student is doing a clerkship about the advisability of working with patients and to be sure he/she is following the local regulations. When caring for patients with certain respiratory infectious diseases, students must adhere to local regulations regarding precautions, including wearing appropriate masks. All students must be mask-fit tested prior to starting their first clinical clerkship.
All medical and dental students are required to have a tuberculin skin test during the six months before matriculation and every year thereafter. The test must be read by a physician or a nurse practitioner and documented in writing. Students known to be skin-test positive should consult a physician at the Medical Area Health Service, as should those exposed to patients with active tuberculosis.