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Am J Public Health. 1981 Nov;71(11):1217-22.

Tuberculosis risk for hospital employees: analysis of a five-year tuberculin skin testing program.


This study of hospital employee tuberculin conversion rates was undertaken in a 516-bed urban general hospital to determine if employment in such a hospital placed employees at risk of infection with tuberculosis. Data collected on the tuberculin status of employees from 1971 through 1976 indicated that the five-year conversion rate for all employees in a hospital-wide testing program was 7.1 per cent. Employees at greatest risk for conversion were non-White, age 46 through 64, in the lowest socioeconomic quintile, and employed in the Laundry, Housekeeping, and Engineering and Maintenance Departments. It was concluded that the higher than expected employee conversion rate was not attributable to exposure to infectious patients, but to a combination of the booster effect in serial tuberculin testing, use of a multiple puncture device for skin tests, and exposure to tuberculosis in the community.

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