Tuberculosis among families of children with suspected tuberculosis and employees at a children's hospital.
ABSTRACT Children with tuberculosis are rarely contagious, but their caregivers may be. Only 7 (12%) of 59 children were potentially contagious, and 10 (17%) were accompanied by contagious adults. Screening caregivers was more cost-effective than performing employee contact investigations, with one-sixteenth the cost ($5,470 vs $88,323) and requiring screening of 35 times fewer persons.
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ABSTRACT: To assess the risk of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and disease among patients and workers in a regional pediatric hospital. Descriptive epidemiological study of the mandatory tuberculin skin testing program of hospital employees at hire and during annual reevaluation, pediatric patients with tuberculosis (TB), efficacy of hospital infection control measures, and community rates of TB. 361-bed, university, pediatric hospital serving Cincinnati (1.7 million population). During 1986 through 1994, 2,275 to 4,356 employees were compliant with Mantoux skin testing and screening each year. This represented >97% of the population who were eligible for screening. The cumulative rate of M tuberculosis infection from a previous positive tuberculin skin test was 10% to 12% per year during 1986 through 1994. Among new Mantoux skin-test converters in employees at annual reevaluation, the risk of TB infection was 0.3% in 1993 and 1994. There were no active cases of TB identified during new employee screening or annual reevaluation. Of 62 new Mantoux skin-test converters in 9 years, 23% were foreign-born, 13% were Asian, 23% were African American, 11% received the bacillus of Calmette-Guérin vaccine, and 60% had direct patient care or indirect patient contact. A cluster of five converters occurred in a department with no patient care or contact. Mantoux conversion rates were 1.9 per 1,000 employee patient-care or contact-years and 2.2 per 1,000 employee non-patient-contact years. Twenty pediatric patients with active TB were identified during 1991 to 1994, with < or =6 cases per year, placing this hospital in the low-risk category for M tuberculosis disease. Three children with pulmonary TB were admitted without immediate respiratory isolation, possibly exposing 9 patients and 42 employees; none converted their Mantoux skin tests on retesting. Rates of active TB in Cincinnati were stable during the period (eg, 8/100,000 population in 1994). Despite intense active surveillance among thousands of hospital employees with >97% annual compliance, tuberculin conversion rates were low, and no cases of active TB were identified during 9 years of follow-up. There was no evidence of transmission of M tuberculosis from infected patients to employees during uncontrolled exposures. Rates of TB in the community were low. These data suggest that rigorous application of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and Occupation Safety and Health Administration regulations for preventing nosocomial TB in pediatric hospitals may be excessive and costly. Special provisions should be made for pediatric hospitals with a proven low risk of transmission of M tuberculosis.Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 03/1998; 19(3):168-74. · 4.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The 1994 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention draft Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Facilities did not exempt pediatric facilities from instituting controls to prevent nosocomial tuberculosis (TB) transmission. Many researchers contend that TB disease in children does not require such rigid controls. We surveyed acute-care pediatric facilities in the United States to determine adherence to patient and family isolation policies and procedures. The study included 4 mailings of a survey to infection control professionals at 284 US children's hospitals and adult acute-care hospitals with > 30 pediatric beds. The overall response rate was 69%. Only 41% of respondents reported having a written TB policy specifically designed for pediatric patients. Whereas 98% of respondents isolated pediatric patients with confirmed pulmonary TB, only 69% reported isolation of patients with miliary TB, and 79% reported isolation of patients with positive gastric aspirates. TB isolation policies for adult visitors were in place at 69% of hospitals, and 50% of hospitals evaluated adults for TB as part of the child's TB treatment plan. A median of 3 contact investigations occurred at each of 47% of respondent hospitals in the preceding 5 years. Isolation and infection control policies for children with pulmonary TB largely conformed to published guidelines but varied for children with nonpulmonary TB. Because the greatest risk of nosocomial TB transmission in pediatric facilities comes from adults with TB, a rapid TB screening process for parents and adult contacts accompanying affected children should be instituted at facilities caring for children.American Journal of Infection Control 11/1998; 26(5):478-82. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Young children rarely transmit tuberculosis. In July 1998, infectious tuberculosis was identified in a nine-year-old boy in North Dakota who was screened because extrapulmonary tuberculosis had been diagnosed in his female guardian. The child, who had come from the Republic of the Marshall Islands in 1996, had bilateral cavitary tuberculosis. Because he was the only known possible source for his female guardian's tuberculosis, an investigation of the child's contacts was undertaken. We identified family, school, day-care, and other social contacts and notified these people of their exposure. We asked the contacts to complete a questionnaire and performed tuberculin skin tests. Of the 276 contacts of the child whom we tested, 56 (20 percent) had a positive tuberculin skin test (induration of at least 10 mm), including 3 of the child's 4 household members, 16 of his 24 classroom contacts, 10 of 32 school-bus riders, and 9 of 61 day-care contacts. A total of 118 persons received preventive therapy, including 56 young children who were prescribed preventive therapy until skin tests performed at least 12 weeks after exposure were negative. The one additional case identified was in the twin brother of the nine-year-old patient. The twin was not considered infectious on the basis of a sputum smear that was negative on microscopical examination. This investigation showed that a young child can transmit Mycobacterium tuberculosis to a large number of contacts. Children with tuberculosis, especially cavitary or laryngeal tuberculosis, should be considered potentially infectious, and screening of their contacts for infection with M. tuberculosis or active tuberculosis may be required.New England Journal of Medicine 12/1999; 341(20):1491-5. · 51.66 Impact Factor