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June 1968

Tuberculosis Risk in Students of Nursing

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn, NY

From the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, NY.

Arch Intern Med. 1968;121(6):545-548. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.03640060059011

A study was made of 1,791 students of nursing during the years 1948 through 1964 to determine their tuberculosis risk. Conversion to a positive tuberculin test reaction between entrance and graduation averaged 66% in students entering in 1948 through 1951, 21% in those entering in 1952 through 1958, and 3.5% in those students who entered in 1959 through 1964. The first decline in infection rate was associated with specific antituberculosis drugs instead of prolonged bed rest care and lung collapse measures; the second, with the addition of routine screening chest x-ray of each patient seeking hospital or clinic care, allowing prompt recognition of majority of tuberculosis patients. Removal of residual risk to the student of nursing may well depend upon more conscientious use of anticontagion techniques.

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