24th World TB day
One sputum positive case of TB can spread the infection to ten others said Padma Shri Awardee Dr A M Pillai national President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal Honorary Secretary General IMA. A person who is sputum positive for TB is considered to have been contagious beginning three months prior to the first smear-positive sputum or the onset of symptoms, whichever is earlier. For individuals with AFB smear-negative TB, the contagious period is considered to have begun one month prior to onset of symptoms.
IMA release said that in the last one year IMA has been able to notify one lac additional new cases of TB in the society and thus has been able to stop the spread of TB to atleast ten lac persons in the society.
Al contacts of TB patients should also be investigated promptly to identify secondary cases of active and latent tuberculosis. Contacts should include family members and other close contacts in the community.
Within a healthcare facility, contact investigation should also be done if a patient with active TB received care prior to prompt institution of infection control measures. Contact investigation is also warranted if a healthcare worker who has had exposure to others in a healthcare setting is diagnosed with active TB.
Person-to-person transmission of TB occurs via inhalation of droplet nuclei. Individuals with active untreated pulmonary or laryngeal disease are contagious, particularly when cavitary disease is present or when the sputum is TB smear positive. Patients with sputum smear-negative, culture-positive pulmonary TB can also transmit infection.
Suspected or confirmed cases of TB should be reported promptly to the local public health department in order to expedite contact investigation and plan outpatient follow-up.
Infectious patients (eg, patients with AFB smear-positive sputum) may be discharged to home, provided there are no household members who are immuno-compromised or younger than four years of age.
Infectious patients should remain at home as much as possible; when receiving visitors or leaving home, patients should wear a surgical mask (not an N95 mask; surgical masks are designed to prevent the respiratory secretions of the person wearing the mask from entering the environment).