CDC revises guidelines for prevention of TB in healthcare facilities

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week publicly released revised guidelines for preventing the transmission of tuberculosis in healthcare settings.

These guidelines continue the prevention focus from1994. Ten years ago, the guidelines presented recommendations for TB infection control based on a risk assessment process that classified healthcare facilities according to categories of TB risk, with a corresponding series of administrative, environment and respiratory protective control measures.

The revised guidelines also note that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently applied its General Industry Respiratory Protection Standard to respirators used for occupational exposure to TB, requiring annual fit testing of TB respirators for healthcare workers.

The agency said the new document updates CDC guidelines published in 1994 to reflect shifts in the epidemiology of the disease, advances in scientific understanding and changes in healthcare practice.