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Nursery Children Treated for Tuberculosis

The Health Protection Agency (HPS) has this week released a statement concerning Tuberculosis treatments on over thirty three children in a London nursery since July after an adult with close connections to the nursery was diagnosed with the serious infection.

Since treatment began the adult is no longer infectious but six children are still receiving full treatment and although 26 other children were found to have TB in their bodies they have no active infection. 

Taking no chances and because the infection can lie dormant they were placed on a three month course of antibiotics.

TB Can be Difficult to Diagnose in Children

An HPS spokesperson said "Some further tests are still being examined and because TB can be difficult to diagnose in children, it is possible that some children may require further tests to ensure they are properly diagnosed and treated if necessary.

Reported tuberculosis cases in London alone have reached the figure of well over 3,300 a year and HPA’s London Director Dr Brian McCloskey said "We carry out screening for TB on a regular basis in London.

"However, this incident is different to the others due to the number of children and adults who have been affected.

"It is too early to say why so many children and adults have been infected and we will be looking into this over the coming weeks.

"A possible explanation for this may include that the initial case was particularly infectious and had been suffering from symptoms for eight months before doctors had diagnosed TB.

We have also been working very closely with the local NHS who has worked tirelessly to arrange special clinics for all the children concerned at very short notice."

Tuberculosis

This disease that affects the lungs once attributed to 25 per cent of deaths in Europe during the 19th century and it was not until living standards began to improve and effective medicines were developed that it became treatable.

With worldwide poverty, malnutrition and poor general health there are more cases of Tuberculosis today than 1950 and in less developed countries up to 3 million people lose the battle against this disease.

With the rise in alcoholism, HIV and certain immigrants the number of tuberculosis cases in the UK has also risen.

Professional advice on Tuberculosis can be found at http://www.nks.nhs.uk/tbchildren.pdf