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Free Content TB in health care workers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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SETTING: Eight public sector hospitals in Ethekwini municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the incidence of TB, clinical presentation and treatment outcomes among health care workers (HCWs) in public sector hospitals in Ethekwini Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.

METHODS: A descriptive study using a retrospective record review for the period January 1999 to June 2004 was conducted from July 2004 to February 2005.

RESULTS: Five hundred and eighty three HCWs were diagnosed with TB. The mean incidence of TB among HCWs for the study period was 1133.0 per 100000 HCWs (standard deviation 282.8). The incidence of TB was highest in the age group 25–29 years and among paramedical staff (registered health professionals other than doctors and nurses). Clinical presentation of TB in HCWs included pulmonary TB 76.5% (n = 322) and MDR-TB 3% (n = 13). Cure was achieved in 22.2% (n = 118) of HCWs, and 40.7% (n = 212) of HCWs completed their treatment.

CONCLUSION: The incidence of TB in HCWs in KwaZulu-Natal is alarmingly high, and the high incidence in the younger age groups and the poor treatment outcomes are cause for concern.
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Keywords: health care workers; incidence; treatment outcomes; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Family and Public Health Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa 2: Department of Community Health, School of Family and Public Health Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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