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This Week in JAMA
February 27, 2002

This Week in JAMA

JAMA. 2002;287(8):947. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.187

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.

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