Tuberculosis screening among immigrants holding a hunger strike in churches
Abstract:SETTING: In January 2001, approximately 600 immigrants held a sit-down and hunger strike in several churches in Barcelona to force the Spanish government to comply with demands to regulate their immigration status. Following the diagnosis of a case of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in one of the immigrants, we performed a large contact investigation.
OBJECTIVES: To describe contact investigation procedures used in this setting and to evaluate contact investigation results.
METHODS: Demographic variables were collected, and tuberculin skin tests (TST) and chest radiograph examinations were performed. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated and logistic regression was used for multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: A total of 541 TSTs were performed. Of these, 86% were read and 40.5% yielded a positive reaction with an induration >14 mm. In a multivariate analysis, the risk of presenting a TST induration >14 mm was found to be three times higher among those aged >35 years compared to those <24 years (OR 3.40; 95%CI 1.76–6.59), and for immigrants from Bangladesh (OR 3.14; 95%CI 1.16–6.10) and Pakistan (OR 2.04; 95%CI 1.11–3.73) compared to those from India. A total of 314 chest radiographs examinations were performed and three additional cases of TB were identified, yielding a TB prevalence of 0.7%.
CONCLUSIONS: By focusing efforts and conducting targeted TB screening in this high-risk population, it was possible to complete the intervention in only 3 days. A high prevalence of TB infection and TB disease was found.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Department of Epidemiology, Agencia de Salut Pública, Barcelona, Spain; and Autonoma University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 2: DAP Ciutat Vella, Institut Català de la Salut, Tuberculosis Investigation Unit of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 3: Department of Epidemiology, Agencia de Salut Pública, Barcelona, Spain
Publication date: December 1, 2003
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