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J Infect Dis. 1994 Jul;170(1):151-6.

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the New York State prison system, 1990-1991.

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Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333.


Three epidemiologically linked multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) outbreaks in 1990-1991 involving New York State (NYS) inmates suggested MDR-TB was widespread in NYS prisons. Inmate lists were linked to 1990-1992 TB registries, medical records were reviewed, and movement histories for inmates with MDR-TB were examined within and between prisons and hospitals. In 1990-1991, 171 inmates were diagnosed with TB. This rate (156.2/100,000) was significantly higher than the 1990-1991 US rate (10.4/100,000) and the 1986 rate among NYS inmates (105.5/100,000). Of 171 cases, 155 were cultured-confirmed; 37 (32%) of 116 with drug susceptibilities determined had MDR-TB. Two other inmates with TB before 1990 were diagnosed with MDR-TB in 1990-1991. Of 39 inmates with MDR-TB, 38 (97%) were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus and 34 (87%) have died. These 39 lived in 23 of the 68 NYS prisons while potentially infectious; 12 were transferred through 20 prisons while ill with MDR-TB. Policies of correctional systems on infection control and inmate transfers need to be reevaluated to prevent spread of TB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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