Facility Infection Control
All coughing patients should be asked to wear a surgical mask with instructions to appropriately cover the nose and mouth with both hands while coughing with the mask in place.
Patients with TB symptoms should be seen ASAP by a nurse for triage and have an urgent evaluation by the clinic MD. Consultation with the SF TB Clinic, (628) 206-8524, should occur when referring the patient for evaluation.
When possible, the TB suspect should be removed from common waiting areas and placed in a well-ventilated space, such as a room with an open window, working fan or HEPA filter. N95 respirators should be used by staff when interviewing, testing or transporting TB suspects.
These masks should not be used on coughing patients. Clinics should have signs at every entryway and in all patient areas instructing all persons to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze and to wash hands or use waterless hand cleanser, such as Purell, after coughing or sneezing (standard respiratory virus precautions).
Common patient waiting areas should be maintained with adequate airflow, i.e., open windows, running fans and/or HEPA filters that are routinely maintained by industry standards.
From the Francis J Curry National TB Center:
Practical Solutions for TB Infection and Control: Infectiousness and Isolation