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Tuberculosis and Control Programs


Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that can be transmitted in almost any setting. Therefore, clinicians are to be aware of the dangers of the disease and the ways of controlling the associated issues. Careful control and prevention measures can minimize the risk of adverse events. The present paper offers an overview of the disease and reviews the recommendations and guidelines of effective TB control programs.

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The number of droplet nuclei carrying M. tuberculosis in the air predetermines the infectivity of the disease. Even though TB is not transmitted by surface contact, tubercle bacilli are dangerous since they can live in the air for several hours (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], n.d.). A person becomes infected when she or he inhales M. tuberculosis, and it reaches the alveoli of the lungs (CDC, n.d.). The infectiousness of a patient increases with the presence of cough, a cavity in the lung, acid-fast bacilli on sputum smear, TB disease of the lungs, airway, or larynx, absence of treatment, and positive sputum cultures (CDC, n.d.). Effective TB control programs consider the factors mentioned above and provide relevant guidelines to decreased the number of TB cases.

TB Control Programs


TB control programs are vital for reducing the dangers associated with the spread of the disease. According to Li, Shen, Yeoh, & Chung (2017), the primary goal of such programs is “to reduce TB morbidity and mortality by breaking the chain of transmission” (p. E525). In particular, the programs aim at early detection of the disease, isolation of the infected patients, and efficient treatment of TB patients (CDC, n.d.). The desired goals may be achieved only when all the clinicians adhere to the preventive guidelines.

Levels of Control

In order to ensure the efficiency of TB preventative, it is vital to consider the hierarchy of the levels of control programs. According to the CDC (n.d.), the programs should consist of administrative controls, environmental controls, and respiratory protection controls. Even though the primary goal is achieved by incorporating the CDC guidelines on all levels, administrative controls are of the most importance (Jo, 2017). The purpose of administrative control is to prevent the transmission of the disease to healthcare workers and patients through implementing various preventative activities, including baseline screening of the at-risk population (Jo, 2017).

The aim the environmental control is the prevention of spread and reduction of the concentration of droplet nuclei (CDC, n.d.). One of the most important tools for the matter is an Airborne Infectious Isolation (AII) room. Since such rooms are explicitly designed to serve the purpose of environmental control, all in-patient facilities should have at least one AII room (CDC, n.d.). These rooms are characterized by helping to isolate the patient to prevent the further spread of the disease (CDC, n.d.).

Another method of environmental controls is the provision of respirators and surgical masks. They are to be worn by patients with suspected TB and healthcare workers during transportation, in waiting rooms, and in other areas where exposure to M. tuberculosis can occur (CDC, n.d.). In summary, environmental and administrative measures are vital for reducing the incidence of TB.


TB is a considerable bother of the US healthcare system due to its high infectiousness. Therefore, the disease is to be addressed in healthcare organizations using three levels of control described by the CDC. Even though administrative control is considered a top priority for reducing morbidity and mortality from the disease, environmental control is also vital. The most common tools used for reducing environmental risks are the utilization of respirators, surgical masks, and AII rooms.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.) Tuberculosis infection control. Web.

Jo, K. (2017). Preventing the transmission of tuberculosis in health care settings: Administrative control. Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, 80(1), 21. Web.

Li, J., Shen, X., Yeoh, E., & Chung, P. (2017). Tuberculosis control programs and challenges in developed cities with intermediate disease burden: China experience. Journal of Thoracic Disease, 9(5), E525-E528. Web.

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