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Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Migrant Farm Workers. Recommendations of the Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis
  • Status:
    current
  • Source:
    MMWR. Recommendations and reports : Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Recommendations and reports / Centers for Disease Control. 1992; 41(RR-10):1-15.
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  • Description:
    Because tuberculosis (TB) is a major problem among homeless persons, the Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis has developed recommendations to assist health-care providers, health departments, shelter operators and workers, social service agencies, and homeless persons prevent and control TB in this population. TB should be suspected in any homeless person with a fever and a productive cough of more than 1-3 weeks' duration, and appropriate diagnostic studies should be undertaken. Confirmed or suspected TB in a homeless person should be immediately reported to the health department so that a treatment plan can be decided upon and potentially exposed persons located and examined. Patients with TB should be counseled and voluntarily tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection because TB treatment recommendations are different for HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative persons (1). TB therapy should be directly observed whenever possible. This may require the establishment of special shelters or other long-term-care arrangements for homeless persons with TB. For each person with an infectious case, an investigation should be conducted to identify exposed persons, and those found to be infected should be considered for preventive therapy. Shelter staff should receive a tuberculin skin test when they start work and every 6-12 months thereafter. Those with positive skin test results should be considered for preventive therapy according to CURRENT guidelines. Shelters for the homeless should be adequately ventilated. The installation of ultraviolet lamps also may be useful to further reduce the risk of TB transmission.

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