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Can someone with tuberculosis lymphadenitis care for children?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 466 Questions
Our nanny (36 yrs old) was diagnosed with tuberculosis lymphadenitis in early June; she's been taking medications since - can she return to work to look after our toddler in september (it'll be about 3 months)
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Mitaly 37 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

Tuberculous Lymphadenitis is an inflammation of the lymph nodes and is the most common presentation of extra pulmonary tuberculosis. Tuberculosis of lymph nodes usually does not spread by cough or sneeze but persons staying in close contact have the chances of getting infection if there is lung involvement also.

Tuberculous Lymphadenitis even in the absence of pulmonary symptoms carries a risk of transmission of disease as they may have Pulmonary tuberculosis and should be placed under respiratory precautions till pulmonary tuberculosis is ruled out.

If she has recovered fully and there was no lung involvement during the course of disease, it is fine for her to work. But, before handling a child, a detailed physical examination by the treating doctor and repeat investigations is suggested.

Since children have more chances of getting infection, it is better that she gets cured fully and has a follow up before returning back to work.

Hope I have answered your query.

I will be available for follow up queries if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can someone with tuberculosis lymphadenitis care for children? 21 hours later
Thank you for your reply; I appreciate it.

She showed me her discharge paperwork from the hospital which says that she had hemetemesis because of an esophageal ulcer secondary to subcarinal lymph node invading the esophagus in CT of chest; she had resection of the LN with primary repair of the esophagus. LN culture growing mycobacterium; the abdomen/pelvis CT showed no TB; Sputum AFB 3 sets negative for stain and culture.

So does that mean that she had pulmonary TB? She was put on respiratory isolation for the weeks that she was in the hospital (about 2-3 weeks); also she started her TB meds on day 9. On the day of discharge, they said she was off isolation but she had to follow up with the Health Dept.

Thank you
Answered by Dr. Mitaly 2 hours later

Thanks for the follow up query.

The reports explained by you seem to be fine and the repeat CT scans and sputum AFB is negative. This suggests no active disease in her.

She has recovered well and if she does not have cough, fever or any other symptom she can continue with the work. Ask her to follow up with the Health department.

Hope this helps!

Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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