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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Tuberculosis Awareness for Health Care Workers. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Introduction

Tuberculosisis (TB) is a disease of the respiratory tract caused by the bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacterial organisms are acquired from persons with active disease who transmit viable organisms by coughing, sneezing, or talking. Airborne droplet nuclei enter the respiratory tract and are deposited in lung alveoli.

M. tuberculosis and other infective agents that are transmitted by airborne droplets or aerosols pose a risk to health care workers, as well as the community. If respiratory protection is inadequate, health care workers who come in contact with infected individuals, and laboratory workers who process specimens from infected patients, may be at risk of infection.