Primary Article

Investigating the Contacts and Suspected Contacts of Tuberculous Patients in New Orleans

Authors: HARRY B. GREENBERG MD, LOUIS TRACHTMAN MD, DORIS H. THOMPSON MD, MPH

Abstract

ABSTRACTThe New Orleans Health Department still investigates the contacts and suspected contacts of patients with tuberculosis, although it has stopped some tuberculosis control programs as unproductive. To determine whether contact investigation is worthwhile, in 1974 we sampled 1,110 men, women, infants, and children who had proved (391) or suspected (719) contact with a tuberculous patient. Nineteen percent (215 out of 1,110) of these contacts examined had tuberculous infections (reflected by positive skin tests). Seven (0.63%) also had pulmonary tuberculosis. We concluded that contact investigation effectively identified residents of New Orleans who were at risk of tuberculosis and the program should be continued.

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References