Applying the 15 Public Health Emergency Preparedness Capabilities to Support Large-Scale Tuberculosis Investigations in Complex Congregate Settings

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Public Health-Seattle and King County, a metropolitan health department in western Washington, experiences rates of tuberculosis (TB) that are 1.6 times higher than are state and national averages. The department's TB Control Program uses public health emergency management tools and capabilities sustained with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant funding to manage large-scale complex case investigations.

We have described 3 contact investigations in large congregate settings that the TB Control Program conducted in 2015 and 2016. The program managed the investigations using public health emergency management tools, with support from the Preparedness Program.

The 3 investigations encompassed medical evaluation of more than 1600 people, used more than 100 workers, identified nearly 30 individuals with latent TB infection, and prevented an estimated 3 cases of active disease. These incidents exemplify how investments in public health emergency preparedness can enhance health outcomes in traditional areas of public health.

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