Symptoms of TB Infection in Children Questions and Answers
Being in a position around an individual who has tuberculosis can end up becoming infected themselves if they are not vaccinated, or if they are immunocompromised. Learn more about tuberculosis and how you can take care of yourself. Contact Olivero Pediatrics in Port Matilda, PA. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 1243 Skytop Mountain Rd. Suite 4, Port Matilda, PA 16870.
What is TB?
TB is known as tuberculosis which could be a serious infectious disease and if infected it targets the lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are often spread from one individual to another through the tiny droplets that are released into the air when an individual coughs, sneezes, and even talks.
While tuberculosis has decreased in developed countries like the United States due to stronger control programs, it still remains a concern within the medical community.
Many tuberculosis strains are drug-resistant, which makes it difficult to treat. Individuals that have active tuberculosis have to take various different types of medications for months at a time to help rid the infection and prevent any antibiotic resistance.
What are the signs of TB in a child?
The signs and symptoms of tuberculosis within a child are often different depending on their age; tuberculosis in younger children is noticed as:
- Weight loss
- Poor growth
- Swollen glands
The signs and symptoms of tuberculosis in older children are noticed as:
- Cough which lasts longer than 3 weeks
- Pain within the chest
- Blood found in the sputum
- Swollen glands
- Weight loss
- Decrease in their appetite
- Sweating which occurs at night
If you ever notice any of these symptoms occurring in your children, it is best to immediately take them in to see their healthcare provider at Olivero Pediatrics.
How do you know if TB is infectious?
Tuberculosis is diagnosed by injecting a small amount of tuberculin fluid into the skin located on the arm, your doctor will ask you to return within 48 to 72 hours later and have someone check the arm to see if there is any indication of thickening of the skin, which is a bump that forms. The bump will be measured to know for sure if you are having a reaction to the fluid which will indicate if it is a positive or negative result.
Tuberculosis is a very serious bacterial infection that noticeably affects the lungs and respiratory system. This is a contagious infection that is often spread through water droplets that go into the air and are taken into another person’s airways when the infected individual coughs, sneezes, or talks and has a spray that occurs when they talk.
When do TB symptoms start?
There are two different types of tuberculosis which an individual could be infected with, they are:
- Latent Tuberculosis
This occurs when you have a tuberculosis infection, but the bacteria within the body is inactive and is not causing any symptoms. This tuberculosis is not contagious.
- Active Tuberculosis
This tuberculosis type is known as tuberculosis disease, and this condition is the one that makes you sick and is contagious. Active tuberculosis can occur weeks or even years after the infection has entered the body.
How does TB make you feel?
If you have active tuberculosis, the tuberculosis bacteria are then multiplying itself and is starting to attack certain areas of the body including the lung(s), bones, kidney, lymph nodes, brain, spine, and even the skin. Once tuberculosis bacteria reach the lungs, it will move through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system to start attacking different areas of the body.
You are at a higher risk of being infected with tuberculosis bacteria if you are in close contact with others who are infected, and this includes:
- Family and friends
- People from areas of the world that have high rates of tuberculosis
- People that are in groups with high rates of tuberculosis bacteria transmission
- People who either live or work in centers that have high-risk individuals there that have HIV
Certain individuals who have a weak immune system may also be at higher risk including:
- Infants and young children
- Individuals with chronic conditions
- Anyone with HIV/AIDs
- Organ transplant patients
- Patients that have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy
- Individuals receiving treatments for autoimmune disorders
If your child is showcasing signs or symptoms of tuberculosis and thinks they may have been infected with active tuberculosis, contact our clinic immediately to book an appointment. You can schedule an appointment by calling in or through our online scheduling app. Olivero Pediatrics is open Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and is located at 1243 Skytop Mountain Rd. Suite 4, Port Matilda, PA 16870. We serve patients from Port Matilda PA, Waddle, PA, Julian PA, State College PA, Bellefonte PA, Pennsylvania Furnace PA, and Pine Grove Mills PA.