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Tuberculosis infection among health care workers: a case series in two district hospitals, Kenya, August 2013
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    health care workers (HCWs) have an increased risk of M. tuberculosis infection and tuberculosis (TB) disease compared to the general population. We evaluated the magnitude of TB disease among HCWs in two District Hospitals in Kenya.


    retrospective review of TB laboratory registers was performed at Makindu and Kiambu district hospitals. Cases were HCWs with confirmed TB diagnosis working at either hospital from 2010 to 2013. Cases were interviewed using structured questionnaire to collect clinical and epidemiologic information. Infection prevention (IP) practices were observed and recorded.


    Makindu and Kiambu had 91 and 450 HCWs respectively. As from the registers, 6,275 sputum smears were examined with 1,122 (18%) acid alcohol fast bacilli smear positive. Kiambu and Makindu reported 11 and five cases of TB among HCWs respectively. Of the 16, 57% were male; mean age was 45 (SD 5.32) years. HCWs affected were: four (25%) laboratory technicians, four (25%) nurses, two (13%) occupation therapists, two (13%) clinical officers and one pharmacist, telephone operator, driver and casual worker. Mean working time lost recuperating was 14 (range: 0-28) weeks. Both facilities lacked high-efficiency particulate air filters and Kiambu hospital lacked a biosafety cabinet too. Windows at both facilities were often closed and suspected TB patients shared common crowded outpatient waiting area where sputum was also collected. No standard reporting tool for TB disease among HCWs was in place at both facilities.


    TB disease was distributed across professional cadres with long working time lost recuperating. Inadequate IP measures exposed HCWs to occupational risk of acquiring TB disease.

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