Airborne infection control for TB in healthcare settings: it’s time to act


  • Vinay K. Department of Medicine, Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Akhila Rao K. Consultant Physician, Ramaiah Neha Prakash Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India



Airborne infection control in healthcare settings, Droplet infection, Nosocomial tuberculosis, Personal protective measures, Tuberculosis


Globally, an estimated 10.0 million people were affected by TB in 2018 with India leading with 27% incidence. Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals set by WHO. Unsuspected TB cases contribute to TB transmission because they may go unsuspected for weeks, and may visit multiple health-care facilities or be admitted indoors to non-isolation wards hence posing threat to Health care workers (HCW) who are at high risk for both latent TB and TB infection when compared to general community population. The TB infection control program should be followed by the hospitals which should include Administrative measures, Environmental measures and Personal protective measures. Health-care worker (HCW) education, training and capacity building on TB infection is an essential part of a TB infection control program. Standard precautions should be taken for maintaining TB laboratory, proper management of accidents/spillages and appropriate methods of waste handling and disposal. Effective infection control in health care workers integrated approach at National, State, Local health officials and Hospital administrative levels are required for effective tackling infection to health care workers along with political commitment and leadership at all the levels. Finally, TB infection control programs can have secondary benefits with infection control in general, which, if improved, could also prevent other infectious diseases that may be nosocomially transmitted.


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