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Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo

On-line version ISSN 1989-7790Print version ISSN 0465-546X


PAREDES RIZO, M.ª Luisa et al. Contact study after accidental exposure to tuberculosis in an Emergency Department. Med. segur. trab. [online]. 2016, vol.62, n.245, pp.304-317. ISSN 1989-7790.

Introduction: Tuberculosis has been one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and is still regarded as a serious public health problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there were 9. 6 million patients in 2014 and 1. 5 million deaths from tuberculosis. It means that a third of the world population currently presents latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). The TB is considered an occupational disease and is a significant occupational hazard among health care workers. Prevention services are responsible not only for managing this risk and its approach but also for controlling TB at the workplace. Objective: To determine the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection within the workers of the Emergency Department in a general hospital and then analyze the preventive approach in the management of this occupational hazard. Methodology: Cross-sectional study conducted in health care workers who participated in a study for 3 months. Those affected were identified by the tuberculin test and the Quantiferon to identify the infected people (blood test that detects the bacteria that causes tuberculosis). Results: 181 workers were studied. 141 were monitored in the Occupational risk Department. 24 workers were diagnosed with latent tuberculosis infection. Chemoprophylaxis was performed in 10 workers. 103 had previous occupational medical examinations. 57% documented previous tuberculin test. The prevalence of latent TB infection in the workers studied is 13. 3% and there has been no recent infection during this time. Conclusions: Tuberculosis remains an occupational hazard for health workers. By knowing the previous incidence of latent TB infection among our workers through screening programs, we can take preventive measures in order to avoid transmission and possible delays in diagnosis. This procedure is crucial to avoid the spread and the development of new infections. Occupational Health and Safety Departments should improve their surveillance and screening programs to properly manage this risk.

Keywords : tuberculosis; health workers; occupational disease.

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