A Suspected TB Cluster at a Certain Development Center in Taipei City

Tsai Yi Chen

2006 Vol.22 NO.5

Correspondence Author:


It was thirty-five minutes passed four o’clock in the afternoon of January 13, 2006, when an official at Taipei City Health Bureau received a formal disease outbreak notification from some colleagues working at the TB Control Section of Taipei City Hospital – Branch of Disease Control (also called Lin Shen Branch), saying that they had just spotted a new open TB case (sputum AFB smear positive, chest X-ray showing suspicious TB images), which had already triggered off an investigation effort, starting with a local case-management specialist being sent immediately to the residence of the suspected patient. The field specialist found that the suspect was currently residing at a certain development center in Shilin District, Taipei City, and that only about three weeks earlier on December 21, 2005, the very development center had another notified open TB case (with similar sputum AFB smear positive, chest X-ray showing suspicious TB symptoms). According to the TB Control Manual, an important guideline issued by Taiwan CDC, it is defined that “whenever there are two or more open TB cases being detected on the same premises within a time period of 30 days, it is a definite case suspect of clustering infection.” and tThe regulation also subjected all 23 employees and 53 residents of the development center to a chest X-ray screening campaign in order to further understand the situation by figuring out the relevance of pathogenesis of the individual cases involved.