954. Interdisciplinary Public Health Intervention in a Multigenerational Tuberculosis (TB) Outbreak in Harris County, Texas: A Case Study with Implications for Disease Control Process Improvement and Transmission Cycle Interruption
Session: Oral Abstract Session: Public Health Potpourri
Friday, October 6, 2017: 9:30 AM
Room: 07AB
Background: Harris County Public Health is the health department for Harris County, Tx jurisdiction. Harris County as a whole is the nation’s 3rd most populous county, with 4.3 million residents, and a TB case rate more than double that of the U.S. (7.6 cases per 100,000 pop). 327 individuals were diagnosed with TB in Harris County during 2015, over two-thirds occurring in foreign-born individuals.

In 2016, HCPH treated an immigrant female with active TB. Initial contact investigation (CI) yielded five household contacts (HHC). Two tested positive, but refused subsequent clinical evaluation by HCPH. Two months later, HCPH was notified of a HHC hospitalized with TB. After hospital discharge, the sick HHC moved into a motel in attempts to self-isolate, but refused evaluation of additional HHC in the home, and banned home access, precluding adequate CI. After numerous phone calls, visits to motel and home, and multiple rescheduled appointments, legal action appeared inevitable. Days later, HCPH was notified of another HHC diagnosed with active TB.

Methods: With alarm regarding the family’s adherence to control orders, TB staff implemented an innovative multidisciplinary team-based intervention in hopes of avoiding legal action. A site visit was paid to the motel by a local health authority, two TB staff, a county public investigator, and a refugee clinic outreach worker fluent in the family’s language. Patients were presented with letters requesting immediate cooperation to avoid court filings. Questions were answered, misinformation corrected, and education provided.

Results: Intermediary on-site intervention using a compassionate, firm multidisciplinary team approach resulted in 16 additional family members tested, yielding an infant with active TB (Case 4) and 8 with TB Infection (TBI). Isolation breaches were also discovered. Most importantly, TB transmission cycle was interrupted. Cultural and economic barriers hindering successful interaction with family were addressed, TB misconceptions corrected, and trusting relationship developed.

Conclusion: This innovative multidisciplinary intervention avoided court proceedings and curtailed the TB transmission cycle. HCPH improved its non-adherence intervention process, and modified TB control orders for infectious patients residing in congregate settings.

Aisha Haynie, MD, MPA1, Carlos Plasencia, MD, MSPH1, Kimberly Fields, RN, MSN, FNP2, Elna Nesbitt, RN1, Audrey Lovings-Clark, RN1, Mary Scott, RN1, Dana Wiltz-Beckham, DVM, MPH, MBA1, Brian Reed, MD1 and Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH2, (1)Disease Control & Clinical Prevention, Harris County Public Health, Houston, TX, (2)Harris County Public Health, Houston, TX


A. Haynie, None

C. Plasencia, None

K. Fields, None

E. Nesbitt, None

A. Lovings-Clark, None

M. Scott, None

D. Wiltz-Beckham, None

B. Reed, None

U. A. Shah, None

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