Tuberculosis Cases In Illinois Have Increased

March 24 is World Tuberculosis Day which seeks to raise awareness of the potentially deadly disease. Tuberculosis (TB) is contagious, can be life-threatening and is transmitted from person-to-person through the air.

Among infectious diseases, TB is now the leading killer of adults in the world, with 1.5 million TB-related deaths in 2014.

The Illinois Department of Public Health recently released that in 2015, 344 cases of TB were reported in Illinois along with one case of extensively drug resistant TB. While there were slightly fewer cases reported last year than in 2012, it is the first time Illinois has reported an increase in the number of TB cases since 2005.

TB is transmitted when someone with active TB coughs or sneezes. While this is most likely to affect family and coworkers, healthcare care providers need to properly protect themselves when working with a patient with TB.

Most hospitals will likely have special wards to isolate and prevent the spread of those infected with TB. For those that work with these patients, proper respirator donning and fit testing is key.

For some in healthcare, working in isolation can be stressful, especially if they do not believe they are properly protected. Some may attempt to fail a respirator fit test in order to avoid being assigned this duty.

The TSI Portacount can help assure healthcare providers they are properly protected when working with TB patients. Quantitative testing removes the subjectivity of qualitative tests, helping to ensure respirators are worn properly and receiving the best protection available. This helps reduce risk, and helps staff to know they are protected.

Learn more about respirator fit testing

RAECO-LIC LLC is the authorized TSI representative in the Midwest United States. If you’re looking to improve your fit testing, we may be able to help.

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