G_IPC_35 Investigation Management of Tuberculosis in Children and Young People

Countywide guidance on the investigations and management of Tuberculosis in children and young people.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an ancient disease that, despite a falling incidence in the 20th century, remains the leading infectious cause of death worldwide. TB is inhaled by droplet spread from an infected person. In most cases the immune system kills and removes the bacteria. However if this does not happen two possible outcomes remain - either the bacteria are "contained" and lie dormant as "Latent" or the bacteria grow and either spread within the lungs or onward to the lymphatics or extra pulmonary organs leading to "Active TB". Active TB causes symptoms with significant morbidity and mortality

A child usually needs to be in close, regular contact with an infectious person in order to acquire TB. It can only be passed on if a person has TB in their lungs or throat and are coughing up TB bacterium. Not everyone with TB is infectious.

Children who live with adults who were born in, or have recently arrived from, a country with a high incidence of TB, who might unknowingly harbour the infection, are most at risk. Also children living below the poverty line who may live in crowded homes, with inadequate nutrition are at risk (Appendix A).

This guidance is for all staff working within Lincolnshire Community Health Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust.

This guidance may also be adopted for use in health organisations where children and young people with TB may be identified at risk e.g. General Practitioners, Children's services.

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