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Safety Training Program Highlights
Regulatory Compliance » Tuberculosis Safety for First Responders
About Guarding Against Tuberculosis as a First Responder
From the early 1800's to the middle of this century Tuberculosis killed more people in the United States than any other infectious disease.
With the development of effective drug treatments in the 1950's, however, everything changed. The fight against Tuberculosis became so successful that by the late 1960's, TB transmission was no longer considered to be a significant health problem.
Unfortunately, over the last 10 years there has been a major resurgence of Tuberculosis.
Across the country, 10 to 15 million Americans now carry a non-infectious form of the disease, known as "Latent Tuberculosis". In the past several years, over 20,000 cases of "Latent TB" have become "Active" annually.
And once a TB case becomes active, it can result in death.
In recent years, several government agencies have been moving to address the Tuberculosis problem.
In 1990, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established a set of Guidelines for "Preventing the Transmission of Tuberculosis", which were revised in 1994 and again in 1996.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also actively working to create its own regulation dealing with Tuberculosis in the workplace.
However, because OSHA views the TB situation as such a critical health issue, it has also taken the unusual step of enforcing the CDC Guidelines until its own regulation is completed.
One of the major requirements in the CDC Guidelines is for employee training.
Both the CDC and OSHA put a significant emphasis on this requirement. They are convinced that many of the problems that lead to the transmission of Tuberculosis have been due to a lack of knowledge about the proper procedures that should be followed to prevent transmission.