Tuberculosis Control: Lessons for Outbreak Preparedness in Correctional Facilities
Correctional facilities typically house large numbers of persons in close and crowded conditions for long periods. Clusters of communicable diseases ranging from simple viral upper respiratory infections to more serious threats, such as tuberculosis (TB), infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and influenza, often emerge in these surroundings. The recent H1N1 influenza pandemic highlights the importance of outbreak prevention and containment preparedness, particularly in congregate settings. In this commentary, the authors propose that the TB control model can provide valuable lessons for infection control practitioners to prepare for, identify, investigate, and control outbreaks of communicable diseases to prevent transmission in correctional facilities and to the surrounding community.