Discontinuation of Respiratory Isolation for Possible Tuberculosis: Do Two Negative Sputum Smear Results Suffice?

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Analysis of acid-fast bacillus smear results at a hospital with a moderate incidence of tuberculosis confirms recent recommendations that 2 negative smear results suffice for discontinuation of respiratory isolation. Use of polymerase chain reaction analysis further increases the confidence with which the diagnosis of active tuberculosis likely to be transmitted to others can be excluded.

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