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Suggest treatment for cough when having TB and infection

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Posted on Tue, 19 May 2015
Question: Hello,
I had meningitis when I was 5 years old. It attacked my heart, and because of the fluid that built up around my heart, the surgeon had to not only remove the fluid, but also my entire pericardial sac. I am now 33 years old, and in good health. At the time, the doctors told my family the one disease I would not have any protection against would be tuberculosis. I was also part of an experimental study while still in utero as my heart was very arithmetic, and my mother had to take experimental drugs so I would stay alive and be born. A few other fetuses actually died, and I was the only one who survived (this all took place in XXXXXXX New Haven). I actually still have palpitations, but very infrequently, and can control them. My question is in regard to the chances of contracting tuberculosis while flying internationally. I have never flown more than 3 hours one way on an airplane outside of the continental US. My wife is from China, and would like for me to visit the country with her this summer. We would fly out of New York City, so the total flight time would be approx 14 hours one way. Based on my circumstances, am I jeopardizing my health if I fly with her to China, or would I be relatively safe? If there is a passenger on the flight with TB, would I be more susceptible to TB? My immune system is good, and I am quite healthy. I am just worried that my heart has no protection if I were to contract this disease (or something similar). Any feedback you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I would like to make the most educated decision possible so I am not risking my life for the trip.

Sincerely,
XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Lilit Baghdasaryan (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
The flight will be relatively safe

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXX,

If we have good immune system the possibility of getting TB is quite low.
The person with TB, should have cough with TB bacterias, to transmit the infection. Nowadays it is quite rare. Even if there is such person in plain, the possibility of infection is low.
When people get TB for the first time, it is usually located in upper fields of the lungs, so the possibility of heart involvement is still low.
As a conclusion I would like to add that you have low risk of getting TB, and your flight will be relatively safe if you have good immune system.

Hope I could help you

Wishing you good health

In case of further questions don't hesitate to ask

Regards,


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Lilit Baghdasaryan

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 1536 Questions

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Suggest treatment for cough when having TB and infection

Brief Answer: The flight will be relatively safe Detailed Answer: Dear XXXX, If we have good immune system the possibility of getting TB is quite low. The person with TB, should have cough with TB bacterias, to transmit the infection. Nowadays it is quite rare. Even if there is such person in plain, the possibility of infection is low. When people get TB for the first time, it is usually located in upper fields of the lungs, so the possibility of heart involvement is still low. As a conclusion I would like to add that you have low risk of getting TB, and your flight will be relatively safe if you have good immune system. Hope I could help you Wishing you good health In case of further questions don't hesitate to ask Regards,