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Towards TB elimination: ECDC and ERS introduce new guidelines on tuberculosis care in Europe
Date:3/31/2012

Today, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) publish their jointly developed European Union Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ESTC). The 21 patient-centred standards aim to guide clinicians and public health workers to ensure optimal diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis (TB) in Europe with nearly 74,000 reported TB cases in the EU/EEA in 2010 clearly showing that TB remains a public health challenge across the region.

The new EU-specific guidelines were developed by a panel of 30 experts and aim to bridge current gaps in the case management of TB that were identified in a recent survey. In the process, the ERS has taken the lead in developing the clinically related standards and ECDC has developed the public health related standards. The ESTC are based on the same recommendations as the International Standards for TB Care (ISTC), but feature additional supplements and replacement information relevant for healthcare providers in the EU.

EU-specific recommendations from the new guidelines include:

  • All people showing signs, symptoms, history or risk factors linked with TB should be examined for TB.
  • All people diagnosed with TB should undergo drug susceptibility testing in a laboratory setting, to rule out drug-resistance and help combat the growing number of multidrug-resistant cases of TB (MDR-TB).
  • Patients with, or highly likely to have, TB caused by drug-resistant organisms (especially MDR-TB) should be treated for at least 20 months, with the recommended intensive phase of treatment being 8 months.
  • Clinicians should ensure that all newly admitted patients who are suspected of having infectious TB are subject to respiratory isolation until their diagnosis is confirmed or excluded following an appropriate infection control plan.

The guidelines also include an additional section on how policymakers and healthcare profe
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Contact: Lauren Anderson
lauren.anderson@europeanlung.org
44-114-267-2876
European Lung Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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