Criteria for the notification of childhood tuberculosis in a high-incidence area of the western Cape Province

Stoltz A.P. ; Donald P.R. ; Strebel P.M. ; Talent J.M.T. (1990)


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The medical records of 124 children notified from Ravensmead Clinic, Parow, as having tuberculosis during 1987 were reviewed in order to determine the strength of the evidence on which the diagnosis was made. Arranging the diagnostic criteria in an hierarchical manner, as suggested by the World Health Organisation, the cases were categorised as suspect, probable or confirmed. Twenty-five were suspect cases (20%), 89 probable cases (72%) and the remaining 10 confirmed cases (8%). These findings indicated that notifications from the clinic were being made in accordance with internationally accepted practice. The use of the WHO approach for the categorisation of childhood tuberculosis cases is recommended for both clinical and epidemiological purposes.

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