A Tuberculosis Outbreak in a Work Place-Northern Taiwan, 2013

Hsiao-Hsuan Chiang*1, Hsin-Chun Lee2, Kuei-Hua Hsu1, Mei-Jung Chen1, Jhy-Wen Wu1, Kun-Bin Wu1

2015 Vol.31 NO.5

Correspondence Author: Hsiao-Hsuan Chiang

  • 1.Northern Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control,Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2.Kaohsiung-Pingtung Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


       A Vietnamese worker in northern region was notified as a confirmed case of tuberculosis in October 2012. Reviewing the chest X-ray of contacts, another Vietnamese worker who shared the same dormitory with the case was also diagnosed as tuberculosis infection with abnormal chest X-ray with cavity and smear positive of initial sputum specimen in November 2012. In addition, there was a Taiwanese contact showed pulmonary infiltration on chest X-ray radiograph. He has been notified in August 2011 and was registered in the Central TB System for Case Tracking and Management as an active tuberculosis based on bacteriological evidence and completed treatment in March 2012. Though the reporting interval between the Taiwanese case and the other two Vietnamese cases was more than one year, the possibility of a TB outbreak in the workplace can barely be ruled out. Therefore, the investigation was launched. The result indicated that these three cases worked in the same high-risk workplace and molecular typing showed they were all infected with the same Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotype, identifying this cluster was a tuberculosis outbreak in a workplace. Duo to the incomplete contact investigation after the index case was notified, the onset of his contacts could not be detected as early as possible. It is recommended to implement on-site visits to TB cases, identifying potential infected people, and providing TB screening and health education for contacts. Moreover, evaluating and improving the high-risk environments is also the important issue in dealing with TB outbreaks.

Keywords:tuberculosis;cluster infection;environmental investigation;workplace