Investigation and Intervention of a Tuberculosis Outbreak among Inpatients in a Chronic Psychiatric Hospital, Taiwan, 2009–2016

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.20171003.33(19).001

Pei-Chin Huang1*, Jhih-Wei Jian1, Jen-Jyh Lee1,2

2017 Vol.33 NO.19

Correspondence Author: Pei-Chin Huang1*

  • 1Eastern Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taiwan


We reported on the investigation and intervention of a tuberculosis outbreak among psychiatric patients in a large chronic psychiatric hospital in Taiwan from 2009 to 2016. A total of 105 confirmed cases were reported. Among them, 78 cases had culture available for genotyping and fell into 41 unique strains and could be divided into 7 clusters, which consisted of 2 to 12 cases in each cluster. Two control strategies including active case finding and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) were carried out. After completing a 2-year active screening program for all 2,382 inpatients, we identified 14 confirmed cases in 2013, 3 cases in 2014 and 3 cases in 2015; 141 ‎QuantiFERON-TB-positive inpatients completed the treatment of LTBI and no one developed active tuberculosis after following up to June 2016. The scale of this tuberculosis outbreak was the largest one in chronic psychiatric hospital in Taiwan in recent years. We hope that our experience provides other chronic psychiatric hospitals an example to control and prevent tuberculosis outbreaks.

Keywords:Tuberculosis, Psychiatric hospital, Tuberculosis outbreak, Contact investigation, LTBI