Childr Health Information

Positive Tuberculosis (TB) skin tests

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Topic: Tests & Procedures


This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about positive tuberculosis (TB) skin tests. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand. If your child is not sick there is little or no risk of passing TB to family, friends or classmates. Your child may continue all usual activities.

WHAT IS TUBERCULOSIS?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection of the lungs or other organs. TB may cause a very mild illness or no illness at all. The germ remains in the body for life. A few children may become sick with TB after their first infection. This may be many years after the first infection.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF A POSITIVE TB SKIN TEST?
A positive skin test shows that your child at sometime had been exposed to TB. Your child may or may not be sick. You need to visit your doctor. A chest x-ray and check-up are needed to find out if your child has TB.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR A POSITIVE TB SKIN TEST?
The usual treatment is a drug call Isoniazid or INH, which is taken every day for several months. Sometimes other TB medicines are added or given instead of INH. Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice.

IF MY CHILD IS NOT ILL, WHY IS MEDICINE NEEDED?
TB germs may stay inactive in the body for many years. If the germs become active, they can spread to the lungs and other organs. This can make your child very ill. By starting the medicine as soon as possible, the chance of illness is lowered.

ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS TO TREATMENT?
Most people do not have side effects to the medication. However, if your child develops a rash, yellowing of the skin (jaundice) or a feeling of “pins and needles” in the hands or feet, call your doctor and stop giving the medicine.

WHERE DID MY CHILD CATCH TB?
TB is almost always spread to children by adults. It is often spread when someone with TB germs coughs into the air. Children hardly ever spread TB because they have fewer TB germs and their cough is not as strong as that of an adult. It is important that any adult with TB in close contact with your child be found and treated as quickly as possible. Your doctor may want family members, housekeepers and baby-sitters checked for symptoms of TB or a positive skin test.

PDF: Child Health Information - POSITIVE TUBERCULOSIS (TB) SKIN TESTS

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Preparado: 1994
Corregido: 2000
Revisado: 2004

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Formulated: 1994
Revised: 2000
Reviewed: 2004

 

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