NEW EFFORTS to protect physicians and other health care workers from acquiring tuberculosis (TB) from their patients are being made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Ga. The agency has just issued updated guidelines for the use of hospitals and clinics that treat patients with TB and has taken steps that should result in workers having improved respirators to use when they are exposed to patients with the disease in its infectious form.
At the same time, a new analysis of the effectiveness of the existing recommendations for the control of TB transmission shows that putting them into practice can indeed prevent transmission in hospitals and other health care facilities.
The new guidelines replace those issued in 1990. "They provide a lot more information for health care workers about preventing transmission of TB," says Samuel W. Dooley, MD, acting associate director for science in the CDC's