|A message from Wanda Walton, PhD, MEd Chief, Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch Division of Tuberculosis Elimination:
Tuberculosis (TB) prevention and control has traditionally been a core function of public health departments, with nurses at the forefront. However, many of those at high risk for TB infection and TB disease who need to be tested and treated receive their care from private health care providers and community health centers. As in public health departments, nurses in these settings play a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of latent TB infection and TB disease, as well as in the prevention of TB transmission through infection control practices.
- a general overview of TB transmission, pathogenesis, and epidemiology;
- preventive care recommendations for targeted testing among high-risk groups; and
- CDC and the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force's recommendations on screening for latent TB infection.
Continuing education credit for the article is available. We also invite you to listen to the "Behind the Article" podcast, as John Parmer, DTBE Health Communication Specialist, speaks with AJN editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy about the important role nurses play in TB control programs, and the opportunities for nurses to expand TB testing and treatment in a variety of clinical and community settings.
We encourage you to share the article, as well as other CDC latent TB infection resources with partners as part of your own outreach and education activities. Expanding opportunities for targeted testing and treatment beyond the public health clinic, and establishing testing for latent TB infection as part of the routine preventive care package, will help us move closer to our goal of TB elimination in the United States.
Thank you for your continued work and commitment to TB elimination.
Wanda Walton, PhD, MEd
Chief, Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination