Could you tell me about the tuberculosis test? I can't seem to find an exact answer on Korea message boards. Are the Koreans only testing for active TB? Would they deport someone who has inactive, latent TB (likely born with it, took medication to make it even more dormant)?
The comment is on a 2009 post regarding challenges to the drug and TB tests required of E-2 visa applicants. He, and I, are looking to readers for answers, specifically regarding the test. As I said in an email to him, I have no recollection how I was tested for TB or even when I was tested for it, and thus can't speak to whether they're testing for latent as well as active TB, or whether they're testing for TB at all as a prerequisite to obtaining an E-2.
Regarding tuberculosis in South Korea, the fight against it is what occupied the time of some of the earliest westerners in Korea, the death rate from TB in South Korea is the highest among OECD nations, and relatively recent incidence rates from the World Health Organization rank it among developing countries. According to an article earlier in the month 35,000 new cases are reported in South Korea each year. A 2008 Chosun Ilbo article says
As of 2005 the rate of TB infection in South Korea was 96 new cases for every 100,000 people. By comparison, the figure was five per 100,000 people in the U.S., 14 in the UK, and 28 in Japan.
However, according to 2006 OECD numbers (.pdf file), the number of infections in South Korea is relatively minor compared to other Asian countries.