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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) announced today that it welcomed the recent decision by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to withdrawal its proposed rule for controlling occupational exposure to tuberculosis (TB).
According to Barbara Soule, APIC president, "APIC commends OSHA for this action, since the proposed rule lacked sufficient scientific justification and was considered by many healthcare professionals to be too static and rigid." She noted that healthcare facilities treating TB patients are already successfully implementing the worker protections 1994 CDC Guidelines. "Thanks to more flexible infection control strategies that exist today within healthcare facilities and the public health community, the number of reported TB cases is at an all-time low," Soule added.
Soule noted, however, that the withdrawal of the proposed OSHA rule does not obviate the need for continued diligence and control of tuberculosis. "Facilities should maintain their vigilance and continue to carry out the recommendations outlined in the CDC Guidelines, based on the individual facility's risk level" she said.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, (APIC) is a non-profit, international organization that seeks to influence, support and improve the quality of healthcare through the practice and management of infection control. Based in Washington, D.C., APIC (www.apic.org) has more than 110 regional chapters in the United States and more than 12,000 members worldwide.
APIC's 30th Annual Education and International Conference will take place June 8-12, 2003 in San Antonio, Texas.