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Barrier measures and tuberculosis: definition of contacts and case investigation

In the context of the generalized application of barrier measures and a possible redefinition of a contact person of a TB case and the investigation of a TB case,

The High Council for public Health (HCSP) has taken into account:

  • the uncertainties relating to the protection against transmission of tuberculosis bacilli conferred by the wearing of a medical mask by the infected patient;
  • questions about the actual conditions under which the medical mask is worn (compliance with instructions);
  • the fact that a quick survey conducted during the present work via the European EpiPulse platform among the EU countries’ tuberculosis managers showed that none of the countries that responded had made or were considering any changes.

Consequently, the HCSP recommends that the current recommendations in force should not be modified, even in the event of a Covid-19 pandemic, whether they concern the definition of a contact subject or the indication and modalities of the investigation of a tuberculosis case.

In addition, the HCSP specifies in this statements several recommendations taking into account specific places (e.g. schools, communities, health care environments, etc.) or specific populations (immunocompromised persons, pregnant women, etc.).

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