A Tuberculosis Outbreak at a Workplace in Central Taiwan, 2016

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.201802_34(4).0001

Hsing-Yi Wang1, Kung-Ching Wang1, Shao-Hui Tsai1, Pei-Fang, Lai1,Wen-Chun Lin3, Hui-Chi Lee4, Pi-Long Lio1, Ching-Fen Ko1, 2*

2018 Vol.34 NO.4

Correspondence Author: Ching-Fen Ko1,2*

  • 1Central Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Public Health, Tzu Chi University
  • 3Changhua County Public Health Bureau
  • 4Health Center of South-West-North District of Changhua City


A worker in central Taiwan was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in April 2016, followed by four other contacts confirmed. The five cases had completed treatment. All other contacts received contact examination and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) treatment, except one refused treatment and one was not suitable for treatment.   

There were only 10 workers in the office, and 5 workers were confirmed as TB cases. We concluded that the TB cluster was associated with poor indoor ventilation, resulting in high concentration of carbon dioxide and high concentration of airborne pathogen. Thus we recommended that the workplace should implement the air quality monitoring to prevent the TB outbreak. The index case had cough and fever up to six months before diagnosing; we recommended strengthening education and awareness of tuberculosis for clinic doctors in order to reduce diagnostic delay.

We also recommended enhancing the contact tracing for the one who refused latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) treatment to reduce the risk of developing TB. The effort in identifying the workplace of the index case by public health workers help us to stop the spread of TB timely.