Cough alone a poor predictor of TB: look for fever and weight loss too

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Attempts to improve TB diagnosis rates among HIV-positive people may be hampered by an over-simplistic search for one symptom at the expense of a wider range of symptoms.

Intensified case finding is intended to increase TB diagnosis rates among people who are already in HIV care.

At present the degree of focus on TB diagnosis varies from one treatment programme to another, and some use only passive case-finding, diagnosing TB only when patients present to their doctor with serious TB-related symptoms.

Other programmes actively attempt to find cases of TB, often using home-based carers or a regular screening questionaire during hospital visits to identify new cases.

Intensified case-finding is especially important in settings where there is a high level of latent TB infection that might progress to active tuberculosis.

 

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