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Management of contacts of tuberculosis


Contact tracing is an important means of identifying tuberculosis: in two recent surveys 10–14% of all new cases were discovered in this way.1, 2 All patients with tuberculosis must by law be notified to the local Medical Officer for Environmental Health, or in Scotland to the Chief Administrative Medical Officer.3 Notification enables the local medical services (usually the Chest Clinic) to trace and examine contacts, of whom about 3% have tuberculosis.1 70%–80% of contacts with disease are diagnosed at the initial visit.4

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