Basic concepts about TB
Mycobacterium Tuberculosis is a bacteria that when infects the human body causes the disease called Tuberculosis. Most commonly bacteria affect the lungs of humans, but they can also cause disease in other parts like the brain, kidney, spine, etc. Previously the disease was notorious for being lethal, but now if treated properly it’s not lethal.
Latent TB/ Tb Disease
Everyone who got infected with TB is not necessarily sick, as the disease has two stages that are: Latent TB infection and TB disease. It is important to identify among them as the management plan is different for each category. If latent Tb cases left untreated may lead to active disease cases.
Risk Factors for TB Disease:
By and large we can divide the risk factors for TB as:
- Individuals who have got infection recently, e.g.
- Persons who are in close contact with infectious TB disease.
- Individuals migrated to high-risk areas for TB.
- Group of individuals with higher rates of transmission like; drug abusers using injectables, homeless communities, etc.
- Individuals providing health care services to positive patients, employees working in high-risk environments for TB, etc.
- Individuals who have weaker Immune systems. This group may include young children, the elderly, or people having any disease that leads to low or weak body immunity e.g., Diabetes Mellitus, any malignancy, transplant patients on immunosuppressants, etc.
High-risk group of people once get infection may develop active TB disease or may fall to Latent TB Infection.
Specific Communities and TB
Tb is one of those medical conditions that are not easily diagnosed, treated, or can be prevented. Although it is a fact that anyone can get the TB infection but still it mostly affects different populations disproportionately. Individuals who are serving high-risk communities for TB like, Clinicians, health care providers/agencies, workers play an important role in eliminating the disease being themselves at high risk all the time.
Tb Assessment for employees
Screening or assessment of Employees for Tb is now considered necessary not only in the high-risk environment but also in other communities as well because we already know that the disease transmission is higher in congested environments and spreads easily. Assessment of employees before or after the job is done differently at different environments, as it can either be done by performing a screening test for Tb, history/Clinical based data, simply filling the forms asking basic questions, etc. Annual screening is not usually done until some specific conditions associated with workers.
Test Forms for Tb
This is the most basic tool that can be used to identify the high-risk cases for Tb among workers. These forms are designed especially asking for direct information that may include their residential area if having high rates of transmission, any medical issue leading to compromised immunity, close contact with the Tb disease personal, etc. Such forms are available with different checklists at different levels, but the basic concept is to screen the employees for TB.
TB assessment forms irrespective of the modalities they include are quite helpful in keeping a check on the spread of the disease in employees. They are helpful for surveillance as well, as we know surveillance of any health factor starts with basic questing regarding the history and clinical data.
These forms do help collect data and statics for designed cases. Here we are concerned about the spread of Tb among employees, so the main purpose of these assessment test forms for Tb is early detection, rates, and pattern of transmission, keeping a check on the spread, and collecting the basic data.