Approach

The diagnosis may be obvious in some cases but is frequently difficult. A high level of suspicion is important in evaluating a patient with risk factors. Diagnosis confirmation requires culturing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Delays in diagnosis and initiation of therapy are associated with transmission of disease and increased mortality.[9]

If suspicion for disease is high, the patient should be isolated (at home or in a negative-pressure room in a hospital) until 5 days to 2 weeks of therapy has been completed. Active TB, confirmed or highly suspected, is a reportable condition to the local health authorities.

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