There are some workers in Missouri who take the occupational risk of being exposed to tuberculosis. It is therefore considered an occupational illness in some fields. But what are the risk factors that contribute to tuberculosis as an occupational disease?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, state that tuberculosis is an occupational risk for anyone who works in healthcare settings, as well as areas where there is a lot of person-to-person contact or crowding. This can include shelters for the homeless, prisons, jails, soup kitchens and other areas. These places also have a high population of patients or victims who may be carriers without realizing it, or without having access to proper medical care. Since tuberculosis, or TB, can be spread through the air and saliva, it is considered a highly contagious disease that can infect workers easily and incubate for a long period of time.
Long-term care facilities for the elderly and drug treatment centers are also common places to find this illness, as stated by the US National Library of Medicine. TB has been speculated to be increasing lately due to a number of factors, including intravenous drug usage and homelessness. This can endanger social service workers especially, as they come into the highest contact with the susceptible population. While other workers can also come into contact with anyone infected with TB, the highest occurrences are in these fields.
Fortunately, awareness of the risk of TB can help workers combat it and diminish their chances of catching the illness. Care should also always be taken when handling infected people because of this, especially in high-risk fields of work.