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A pulmonary tuberculosis outbreak in a long-term care facility

  • C.-C. LAI (a1) (a2), Y.-C. HSIEH (a3), Y.-P. YEH (a3), R.-W. JOU (a4), J.-T. WANG (a5), S.-L. PAN (a6) and H.-H. CHEN (a2)...

Summary

In long-term care facilities (LTCFs), the elderly are apt to be infected because those with latent tuberculosis infections (LTBIs) are at an increased risk for reactivation and post-primary TB disease. We report an outbreak of TB in staff and residents in a LTCF. An outbreak investigation was conducted after two TB cases were reported from the LTCF. A tuberculin skin test (TST), bacteriological examination and chest radiograph were administered to all facility staff and residents. An outbreak is defined as at least two epidemiologically linked cases that have identical Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotype isolates. This outbreak infected eight residents and one staff member, who were confirmed to have TB in a LTCF between September 2011 and October 2012. Based on the Becker method, the latent and infectious periods were estimated at 223·6 and 55·9 days. Two initial TST-negative resident contacts were diagnosed as TB cases through comprehensive TB screening. Observing elderly people who have a negative TST after TB screening appears to be necessary, given the long latent period for controlling a TB outbreak in a LTCF. It is important to consider providing LTBI treatment for elderly contacts.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Y.-P. Yeh, MD, PhD, Changhua Health Bureau, No. 162, Sec. 2, Jhongshan Road, Changhua City, Changhua County 50063, Taiwan. (Email: lgyeh@hotmail.com)

References

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