Tuesday, June 22, 2004

CDC: Nurse's Death From TB "Shameful"

Last week, I reported that a Virginia nurse had died of TB.

Last year, when OSHA decided that the nation did notneed a standard to protect health care (and other) workers against TB, part of the reasoning was that hospitals were already generally knowledgeable about precautions and in compliance with CDC guidelines.

Somehow, I'm not too sure about that:
Dr. Nancy Welch, health director in Chesapeake, a community near Norfolk, ... said it is unknown how the nurse caught TB. Health care workers are known to be at high risk for the disease.

The nurse had been coughing since October, but continued to work at Chesapeake until April, officials said.
Testing will begin this week of hundreds of persons known to have been exposed to the nurse.
"In this day and age, it is shameful that people should be dying of an otherwise preventable and curable disease - such as tuberculosis," said Dr. Kenneth G. Castro, director of the tuberculosis elimination division for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Shameful, tragic and preventable...