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Investigation of patient contacts is recommended for all patients with
suspected or confirmed active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) reported in the
United States. In this review of US health department records, Reichler and
colleaguesArticle found, however, that contact investigations were often deficient.
Thirteen percent of patients with active pulmonary TB reported during 1996
had no contacts identified, and only 55% of identified contacts completed
screening. To improve methods of TB contact investigation, Bailey and colleaguesArticle
developed and validated a model of TB transmission identifying those variables
that best predict a positive tuberculin skin test result among contacts of
active TB cases. In an editorial, Mohle-Boetani and FloodArticle discuss the importance
of conducting timely TB contact investigations and of developing more effective
approaches for tracking TB transmission.
This Week in JAMA . JAMA. 2002;287(8):947. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.187
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