• David C. Deitz


For many primary-care physicians in Canada and the United States, tuberculosis has become a rare disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report 21,801 cases of tuberculosis in 1985, equivalent to a case rate of 9.1 per 100,000 population.1 This is still a significant public health problem, but when compared with estimates of over 500,000 physicians in the United States by 1990, it becomes clear that many North American physicians will not encounter the disease in regular practice. Advances in our understanding of how to detect, cure, and prevent tuberculosis have greatly changed the course of the disease. As the prevalence of active cases declines, the role of preventive strategies as implemented by individual physicians requires continued emphasis. The challenge for primary-care physicians for the future will be to identify groups and individuals at risk for tuberculosis, screen for infection when appropriate, and prescribe prophylaxis when indicated—all without necessarily encountering an active case for long intervals.2


Tuberculin Skin Test Active Tuberculosis Pulmonary Tuberculosis Bacille Calmette Guerin Tuberculin Test 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Deitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of MedicineBeth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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