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.
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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