Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called for stepped-up investigations of relatives, friends, and other close contacts of patients with infectious tuberculosis (TB) to prevent further transmission of the disease.
Their recommendations are based on a CDC study of 1080 patients with pulmonary sputum-positive TB and 6225 of their close contacts. The study, published last month in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, showed that of 4793 contacts who were tuberculin skin-tested, 36% had positive results. Of the group with positive skin tests, 1381 were advised to start treatment for latent TB infection. Of 1277 individuals who started treatment, 707 completed therapy.
Voelker R. Investigate TB Contacts. JAMA. 2001;285(4):401. doi:10.1001/jama.285.4.401