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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is tuberculosis contagious?

How contageous is it?

Amelia is 5 yrs old, is underweight, thin, was having night sweats and all the glands in her neck are like golf balls. on the skin test there is a positive reaction. She has a brother, and a 4 month old sister. Her father had TB 3 years ago. How contageous is it. We have taken a sample of sputum of both father and mother and sent it for testing. She has been playing with other smaller children, and I am concerned that they could have been infected.

Fri, 16 Dec 2016
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
Hi and thank you for asking

I understand your concern.
It doesn*t mean that in every person that has a positive skin test for tb he/she had tb diseases.
A positve test mean that the person during his lifetime has been in contact with the microbe of tb.
In this case for little Amelia it would be better to take a sample of sputum too.
But given the fact that she lives with the relatives that have been with the diseases of TB she has unfortunately big chances to have been infected.If the sputum is positve she should treat as a diseses of tb.If the sputum is negative she shuold take some tb medication only for prevention for tb disease.

I wish all the family good health

Thank you
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