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Lymph caused by tuberculosis - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Infections
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 40 Questions
User :   My sister (lives in Oregon) recently went on a trip to Indonesia. She has been taking medication for rheumatoid arthritis for a number of years. She has recently been diagnosed with lymphatic TB. We spend a lot of time together but do not live together. I do not have any symptoms and do not take routine medication for anything except hypertension. Should I notify my MD and request a TB test? Am I at risk for developing TB?
Doctor :   Hi
User :   hello...can you see my messsage?
Doctor :   yes
Doctor :   let me read your query give me a couple if mins.
User :   she had a lung x-ray today that was negative
Doctor :   OK
User :   blood tast was positive
Doctor :   what about her other tests?
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   how long have you been with her ?
User :   she has been referred to a specialist but has not been able to get into see the DR yet
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   may i know your age and gender?
User :   we spend about every other week-end together but recently she rode with us on a lengthly trip to Portland OR. I am female 58 y.o
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   TB does spread by close contact from the respiratory secretions of the person infected
User :   even if her lung x-ray is negative?
Doctor :   if she has cough she could have transmitted the droplets whcih could have been inhaled by close contacts
Doctor :   yes, lung x raymay or may not be suggestive its not specific
User :   she has had a superficial cough for about two weeks or more
Doctor :   it is just a correlating finding.
Doctor :   since you have spent time with her, though you do not have symptoms
Doctor :   you have some risk for contracting the bacilli
Doctor :   just to be on the safer side
Doctor :   it is better you notify your doctor
User :   I had an upper respiratory infection recently that responded well to a "Z" pack
Doctor :   we cannot exactly mean that this could be TB
Doctor :   but then any history of contact must not be ignored.
Doctor :   you must notify the same and get the blood test done.
Doctor :   this will keep you safe
Doctor :   are you there with me?
User :   she also held my 1mo old grand son that was 3 weeks premature, is breast fed. Is he at risk as well? This was her only contact with him.
Doctor :   TB generally has the primary in the respiratory route , and may go to the lymph
Doctor :   he is at minimal risk
Doctor :   since it was only once.
User :   that is a great relief...
Doctor :   but then since he is a premature baby . his immunity coud be low and he could pick up the infection if she had some cough
Doctor :   has her sputum been tested?
User :   should I tell my daughter now or wait until she has seen the specialist?
Doctor :   if she is sputum negative, then she is at very minimal risk of transmitting thebacilli
Doctor :   it all depends on the sputum findings
Doctor :   if the bacilli are actually present in her respiratory secretions or not.
Doctor :   when is her visit to her specialist?
User :   Not sputum yet....would you recommend she get this right away? She is leaving on a trip to Las Vegas this next week and won't be seen for at least 1 1/2 wks.. she is flying.
Doctor :   since her blood report says positive for TB
Doctor :   we also need to check her sputum as well
Doctor :   since you said she had cough too
User :   can her regular general practioner do this ?
Doctor :   we need to see if her respiratory system has any bacilli
Doctor :   yes , of course he will be able to
Doctor :   else he could surely guide you on the tests
Doctor :   if she does not have cough then it is unlikely to be passing on to others.
Doctor :   are you there with me?
User :   would you recommend that she not fly, stay home? She also shares office space with others? Her cough is non-productive, pesky superficial cough.
Doctor :   she could fly.
Doctor :   when will she be back?
User :   Next Thursday
Doctor :   Ok
User :   going to a conference in Las Vegas
Doctor :   we can wait for a week if she is doing fine, but then it shoulnot be delayed beyond.
Doctor :   does she have any fever,or other symptoms right now?
User :   OK...should I give her any additional advice other than covering her mouth with a tissue when she coughs?
Doctor :   are you there?
Doctor :   no
Doctor :   that would be great.
User :   she has been complaing of frquent headaches...
Doctor :   if she develops any other symptoms she has to consult the doctor immediately
Doctor :   if she is doing fine , she could wait
Doctor :   else she must decide upon the trip.
Doctor :   i hope i have answered your questions
User :   Thanks for your help...what other symptoms?
Doctor :   she must be alert on symptoms like cough, fever, night sweats
Doctor :   and loss of weight further.
Doctor :   start treatment earliest
Doctor :   depending on the severity
Doctor :   Tb is curable
Doctor :   so nothing to worry
User :   OK I'll let her know, as for the night sweats it's hard to say...she quit her patches (hormone) about 6 mos. ago.
Doctor :   thanks for consulting me
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