Posts Tagged ‘ tuberculosis ’

1 Million Kids Affected with Tuberculosis Each Year, Report Says

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The World Health Organization estimates nearly 1 million kids are affected with TB every year, and many cases go unreported. About 32,000 of those cases involve a “superbug,” or drug-resistant strain that is especially dangerous. The treatment of TB is easier in children, but harder to diagnose because kids present symptoms differently than in adults. More from

Tuberculosis infects about 1 million children each year, much more than previously thought, and scientists estimate that about 32,000 of them are infected with an especially dangerous and drug-resistant type.

In a report published the journal the Lancet on World Tuberculosis Day, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Global Health Equity report what is the first clear picture of the number of children with tuberculosis (TB) worldwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that half a million people caught drug-resistant “superbug” strains of TB in 2012, and that about 2 million people could contract it by 2015. The researchers went through several databases to determine a more accurate number of children with TB, since the disease in kids is known to be underreported.

“What we found was that whereas previous estimates for the total number of TB cases in kids were about half a million, when you account for (underreporting) in your estimates, it’s more like 1 million children develop active TB disease every year,” study author Helen Jenkins of Brigham and Women’s Hospital told Reuters.

It’s important to diagnose TB and its drug-sensitive strain in kids because it’s easier to treat them than adults. But TB is especially hard to diagnose in kids because it presents itself differently in children than adults, Reuters reports. The disease is caused by bacteria that spreads through the air and attacks the lungs. Kids are more likely to have TB present in other parts of the body besides the lungs.

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Baby Care Basics: Surprising Reasons to Call the Doctor
Baby Care Basics: Surprising Reasons to Call the Doctor
Baby Care Basics: Surprising Reasons to Call the Doctor

Image: Open hand raised, Stop TB (Tuberculosis) sign painted via ShutterStock

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Kids of Foreign-Born Parents May Have Higher TB Risk

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Three-quarters of all pediatrics tuberculosis patients in the United States have at least one parent who was born outside the country or has lived outside the U.S., according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. The findings suggest that sources of potential TB exposure are not being thoroughly explored by pediatricians, and researchers urge doctors to ask about any potential elevated risk factors.

The study found that among US-born pediatric patients, 66 percent had at least one foreign-born parent, which is more than three times the proportion in the general population. Mexico was the most common country the foreign-born parent was from.

Only 25 percent of pediatric patients with TB diagnosed in the United States had no known international connection through family or residence history.

Image: Pregnant woman, via Shutterstock


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