Tuberculosis among health care workers in British Columbia
METHODS: Comparison of 25 HCWs and 50 controls randomly selected from the Centres for Disease Control registry, with respect to demographics, prevention, diagnosis and management.
RESULTS: HCWs had fewer related risk factors, but more had initiated prior chemoprophylaxis (16% vs. 0%, P < 0.01) and knew their bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) (68% vs. 24%, P < 0.001) and purified protein derivative (PPD) status (60% vs 32%, P < 0.05). There were no differences in symptom duration (3.3 ± 3.6 vs. 3.0 ± 3.4 months), mycobacteriology and diagnostic features, treatment duration (264.9 ± 69.9 vs. 239.0 ± 78.7 days) and completion rates (84% for both). All HCWs used self-administered treatment (100% vs. 70%, P < 0.01), and fewer were hospitalized (8% vs. 28%, P < 0.05). Disease rates in nurses (3.6 ± 4.4 per 100000) were lower than the general population rates (9.0 ± 0.8), but did not differ among physiotherapists (8.96 ± 21.95), general practitioners (7.60 ± 11.78) and medical residents (30.75 ± 75.32).
CONCLUSIONS: Clinical features were similar in HCWs, but management strategies differed. BC HCWs are not at increased risk of tuberculosis, but the small sample size limited the power of our study to detect such an increase.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Respiratory Division, and BC Centre for Disease Control Society, Ministry of Health, British Columbia, Canada
Publication date: 01 November 1998
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