Tuberculosis among health care workers at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, 1988–2002
Abstract:SETTING: It is still not well determined whether health care workers (HCWs) in developing countries—where background tuberculosis (TB) prevalence in the general population is high—have a higher risk of TB than other occupations.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the risk of TB among HCWs in an area where TB prevalence is high.
DESIGN: A cohort of 3959 HCWs at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thailand, was observed from 1988 to 2002.
RESULTS: The overall TB incidence rate was 188 per 100000 person-years (py), with specific incidence rates of 77, 48 and 63/100000 py, respectively, for confirmed, possible and self-reported TB cases. The highest risk work site was the emergency room, with rate ratios (RRs) of 10.4 (95%CI 3.0–44.7), 22.6 (95%CI 2.7–1041.2) and 9.4 (95%CI 1.5–99.1) for overall, confirmed and possible TB cases, respectively. The 11 TB cases in this area were 9 registered nurses, 1 nursing auxiliary and 1 housekeeper. The occupation of highest risk was nurse, with RRs of 2.4 (95%CI 0.9–9.1) for overall TB cases. However, only the increased RRs for the emergency room were statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study support the premise that certain groups of HCWs in developing countries are occupationally at increased risk of TB.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Publication date: November 1, 2005
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