To compare the extent of pulmonary tuberculosis amongst patients detected by screening (active case finding) with that in patients detected by symptoms (passive case finding), and to identify early symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis.
In this cross-sectional study, Tuberculosis Control Program records were reviewed for method of detection and extent of disease in Canadian Plains Aborigines between 1 January 1991 and 30 June 1999.
Among 903 cases, method of detection was active in 450 (49.8%) and passive in 453 (50.2%). Cough and fever were the most common symptoms in both methods of detection, and were significantly more frequent in passive detection (P 19 years.
Method of detection rather than age contributed to infectiousness in children and adolescents. Daily cough for more than 1 month and unexplained fever for more than 1 week should raise the suspicion for TB.