Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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In this report, we describe the investigation and management of an outbreak of TB associated with a mosque in Scotland, and consider the implications of large-scale TB contact tracing. In 2005, an Algerian man living in the north-east of Scotland was found to be sputum smear-positive for TB. Initial investigation identified three (18.8%) close contacts with active disease. Due to the high rate of transmission, contact tracing was extended to casual contacts of the index case at a mosque. No sub-group at highest risk of exposure could be defined at the mosque. Screening of mosque attendees identified two cases (0.53%), with a further two identified by review of existing cases and enhanced surveillance. Two additional cases were linked to the outbreak by genetic profile. Response to the screening exercise was initially poor, but after modification of the communication strategy, 438 people were offered screening with 86% attending. The investigation and management of a TB outbreak is challenging and requires a complex message about risk to be communicated. In a mosque setting, there were additional complexities that, to the best of our knowledge, have not been reported previously. It was crucial, in designing the communication strategy, to identify key individuals within the community to assist with tailoring the message to address risk perception and to help to deliver the message. Despite this, approximately 50% of those considered to have the highest exposure (adult males regularly attending Friday lunchtime prayer meetings) did not come forward for screening. The screening of casual contacts in this setting was complex and time-consuming with a low detection rate.


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