670. A Collaborative Response by Public Health and Local Hospitals to a NICU Tuberculosis Exposure
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Outbreaks and Public Health Across the Globe
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Room: Poster Hall CD


Early recognition of tuberculosis (TB) cases is critical to prevent spread. Infants are at high risk for TB acquisition after exposure. A TB case went unrecognized despite seeking medical attention in December 2016 for a cough and suspicious radiographic and laboratory testing.  During a two week period in November and December 2016 the case visited an infant in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) almost daily for extended periods of time. The NICU was housed in a local community hospital, but staffed by personnel from a separate local children’s hospital. On January 3, 2017, Summit County Public Health was notified of the case and after ascertaining the potential NICU TB exposure began a collaborative contact investigation with the community hospital and the children’s hospital staff, newborns and visitors to the NICU.


This observational study describes a TB contact investigation of potentially exposed persons in a NICU.  The three institutions jointly developed a plan whereby the children’s hospital notified families of the potentially exposed babies, provided prophylactic anti-tubercular medication and follow-up screening. The hospitals’ Infection Preventionists notified and tested the potentially exposed staff. The health department screened the case’s family, personal contacts, and any identified or concerned NICU visitors.  At the onset of the investigation the three institutions held a joint press conference. The investigation began in early January 2017 and ended late April 2017.



Infants potentially exposed


Families contacted


Infants evaluated


Infants put on INH prophylaxis


Infants tested at 10-12 weeks


Infants tested positive


Employees tested


Employees tested positive



An after-action review revealed strengths, weaknesses and lessons learned. One successful decision was the planned press conference that provided media and public with transparent, consistent messages.  A weakness was the inability to identify visitors since there was no NICU visitor log. Therefore visitors other than parents could not be individually contacted about exposure and screening. This investigation successfully involved three different community institutions and was conducted with minimal disruption and public concern.

Marguerite Erme, D.O., M.P.H.1, John Bower, MD2, Virginia Abell, BA, RN, CIC3, Tina Bair, MSN RN CIC4, Tracy Rodriguez, MS BSN RN CSN5 and Jane Kirk, MSN RN CIC5, (1)Summit County Public Health, Akron, OH, (2)Pediatric Infectious Disease, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, OH, (3)Summa Health System, Akron, OH, (4)Infection Prevention and Control, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, OH, (5)Communicable Disease Unit, Summit County Public Health, Akron, OH


M. Erme, None

J. Bower, None

V. Abell, None

T. Bair, None

T. Rodriguez, None

J. Kirk, None

Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. PDT, Wednesday Oct. 4th with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.