Tuberculosis (TB) is a very serious bacterial infection of the lungs. The disease is transmitted through the air. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the Mycobactierium tuberculosis bacteria that is responsible for the infection, is spread in the air and can be inhaled by others.
When the bacteria get into the lungs it grows and can spread into the bloodstream affecting the spine, brain, and kidneys.
If you think that your child has been exposed to TB it is crucial that your child see a doctor. In babies and young children, complications such as meningitis is common so treatment should begin immediately. TB is detected by a skin test that is performed on the forearm. An extract of TB bacteria is injected into the skin and checked after 48 to 72 hours. If a bump appears, the doctor will examine the bump to determine if it is TB.
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