It Is Likely That A 6 Year Old Child Has Contracted Tuberculosis?

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Hello, my daughter is 6 years old. 21 kg weight difficult to rise because of frequent coughing and shortness of breath. Previously, I had contact with an adult tuberculosis patient who was undergoing routine injection treatment for a certain period of time. After the X-ray examination, it turned out that there were spots on the lungs. But the tuberculin test was negative. What I want to ask is whether my child has tuberculosis and has to undergo 6 months of treatment? Are there more tests that need to be done to determine my child’s illness?

1 Answer:

Walaikumsalam wr wb


Hello Vhiya! Thank you for using HealthReplies.com consulting services


I understand the worry you have. Tuberculosis is a pulmonary infection disease caused by the bacterium Micobacterium tuberculosis. This disease is easily transmitted from one person to another, especially it is easy to attack young children because their immune systems are not as strong as adults


It should be noted that the definitive diagnosis of this disease is quite difficult in children and of course its characteristics are different from those of adults. The difficulty of obtaining sputum samples from young children and the small number of germs found are obstacles to diagnosing child TB.


In children, cough is not the main complaint of this disease. Based on the decision of the Indonesian Pediatrician Association, to help diagnose pulmonary TB, a scoring system of several criteria is carried out, namely by adding up the scores of the signs and symptoms found. The scoring was prepared by the Ministry of Health to help find out whether a child has a high probability of contracting pulmonary TB and whether treatment is needed or not. So that the diagnosis of pulmonary TB in children should not only use X-rays of the lungs. It is very important to consider the scoring system for TB in children. The following are the scoring system criteria used to help diagnose TB in children:

There is contact with a patient with clear TB

Tuberculin Test (Mantoux)
Weight / nutrition of children
A fever with no known cause
Chronic cough more than 3 weeks
Enlarged lymph nodes of the neck, groin or armpits
Swelling of the bones / joints of the hip, knee, phalanges
Chest X-ray

Each parameter has a score between 0,1,2, and 3 as the highest score. If you find a score of more or equal to 6, it is highly recommended that you be given anti-tuberculosis drugs and see the therapeutic response for 2 months. If the response is positive, then therapy can be continued, but if the response is negative it is highly recommended to be referred to a more complete hospital for further evaluation. Don't hesitate to do an examination, evaluation and consultation with a pediatrician near you to get more complete information. That is the information that I can convey, hope it helps.


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