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Tuberculosis (TB)
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Tuberculosis (TB)

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ASTHMA & RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Respiratory System

INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Bacterial

 

Signs and Symptoms

In older infants and children, primary pulmonary tuberculosis (the first infection with the tuberculosis bacteria) usually produces no signs or symptoms, and a chest X-ray shows no signs of infection. Rarely, there may be enlargement of the lymph nodes and possibly some coughing.

In most cases, only a tuberculin skin test (used to figure out if someone has been infected by the tuberculosis bacteria) is positive, indicating that the child has been infected. Children with a positive tuberculin test, even if they show no disease, will usually need to receive medication.

This primary infection usually resolves on its own as a child develops immunity over a 6- to 10-week period. But in some cases, it can progress and spread all over the lungs (called progressive tuberculosis) or to other organs. This causes signs and symptoms such as fever, weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, and cough.

Another type of infection is called reactivation tuberculosis. Here, the primary infection has resolved, but the bacteria are dormant, or hibernating. When conditions become favorable (for instance, a lowered immunity), the bacteria become active. Tuberculosis in older children and adults may be of this type. The most prominent symptom is a persistent fever, with sweating during the night. Fatigue and weight loss may follow. If the disease progresses and cavities form in the lungs, the person may experience coughing and the production of saliva, mucus, or phlegm that may contain blood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:31 AM