Contact investigations in the 21st century

This webinar reviews approaches for contact investigations for tuberculosis (TB) infection, testing methods, and epidemiology in TB contact investigations. Reviewing the definition of infectiousness, we outline the steps of a contact investigation, including choosing the most appropriate testing method, as well as the determination of high-risk contacts and their testing/treatment logistics. The presentation provides explanations of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) Test and the tuberculin skin test. We also highlight rapid data assessment and its impact on the decision to expand the investigation and communicate the results. We will review two contact investigations in challenging populations — including an elementary school and a homeless shelter.  

Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH

Dr. Lindquist is the Tuberculosis Medical Consultant for the Washington State Department of Health, Health Officer/Director of Health for the Kitsap County Health District, and a pediatrician and public health officer at the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Medical Clinic.  Dr. Lindquist was an advocate in the early adoption of Interferon-gamma release arrays (IGRAs) in public health practice, with extensive public health experience with the implementation of IGRAs in diagnosis, contact investigation, and employee infection control practices.

Dr. Lindquist completed his medical training at the University of Washington School of Medicine as a student of the WAMI (Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) program. He completed residencies in pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an Infectious Disease Fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and he completed his Masters in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Julie Tomaro, RN, BSN

Julie Tomaro is a nurse consultant in the Washington State Department of Health TB Program, providing education and guidance regarding TB control activities and contact investigations to counties, healthcare providers, and the Washington State public. She also participates as faculty in the Centers for Disease Control Contact Investigation Interviewing Pilot training and other trainings provided by the Curry International Tuberculosis Center.

Ms. Tomaro has a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Washington State University College of Nursing and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Health program at University of Washington. She has a broad background in TB testing. She was TB Program Coordinator in the TB and refugee clinic at Spokane Regional Health District, during which time she was case manager for all active TB cases in Spokane County. She managed all patients with latent TB infection who were diagnosed in the clinic through targeted testing, refugee and immigrant screenings, and contact investigations.