Guidelines: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Risk Categories

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Guidelines: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Risk Categories

The CDC has recommended the following guidelines for TB infection control plans based on a risk-assessment process8:
  1. Assess risk categories - define exactly who should be included in a TB surveillance program; assess environmental factors; risk for transmission; mitigation
  2. Create a tuberculosis control plan
  3. Screen health care workers - Workers in health care facilities must recognize that the transmission of M. tuberculosis is a risk to be considered.
Risk variables include:
  • The facility's patient population and the number of patients known to be infected with TB who are present in the facility
  • The prevalence of TB in the community
  • Contact with patients known to have TB in the performance of one's job
  • Contact with specimens containing M. tuberculosis organisms where aerosols may be generated and released
  • Effectiveness of the facility's Tuberculosis Control Plan
CDC has identified three risk categories in health care settings:
  • A low-risk health care setting is one in which HCWs will most likely not be exposed to persons with TB disease or to clinical specimens that might contain Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • A medium-risk health care setting is one in which the HCW will or might be exposed to persons with TB disease or to clinical specimens that might contain M. tuberculosis.
  • A potential ongoing transmission health care setting is temporarily applied to any setting if there is evidence of person-to-person transmission of M. tuberculosis in the past year.
8. Jensen PA, Lambert LA, Iademarco MF, Ridzon R; CDC. Guidelines for preventing the transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in health-care settings, 2005. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2005;54(RR-17):1-141. Accessed November 8, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5417a1.htm