Tuberculosis is often underrecognized; the author describes how to obtain a definitive diagnosis of tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis has recently reemerged as a major health concern. Each year, approximately 2 million persons worldwide die of tuberculosis and 9 million become infected.11 In the United States, approximately 14000 cases of tuberculosis were reported in 2006, a 3.2% decline from the previous year; however, 20 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates.22 The prevalence of tuberculosis is continuing to increase because of the increased number of patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus, bacterial resistance to medications, increased international travel and immigration from countries with high prevalence, and the growing numbers of the homeless and drug abusers.33 With 2 billion persons, a third of the world population,11 estimated to be infected with mycobacteria, all nurses, regardless of area...

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