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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is tuberculosis contagious?

I am 29 YR old male. My wife was pregnant by the time when I stated to have random fever intermittently for 15 days (no other symptoms except fever) one month back. After 20 days reason for fever was diagnosed to be pleural tuberculosis. Is there a possibility my wife be infected wit tb ? either latent or active tb ? suppose my wife have latent tb will it affect baby in any way ? Please clarify what action to be taken
Mon, 19 Sep 2016
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi
Thanks for posting on HCM
TB is contagious and mostly affect immune-compromised people even though healthy people could also be affected.The most contagious TB is pulmonary.Extrapulmonary TB is not contagious.In your case, pleural TB is extrapulmonary. Extrapulmonary TB (plerura, glands, bone, peritoneal..) is possible with lungs free from the infection.You will however need to be isolated for say 3 weeks with anti-TB drugs initiated since a patient on treatment is no longer contagious.
The chances of your wife being infected are low even though can not be completely ruled out.I will suggest she gets tested for TB.Even if no symptoms, she should take a chest x-ray and a tuberculin skin test to see if she has been exposed to TB.If any arguments in favor of TB infection, she will need to start treatment early so that the baby will not have any problem.Most anti-TB drugs are safe in pregnancy.
Hope this will help
Best wishes
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