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Can a TB patient spread infection while on treatment?

Q: I have two sons aged 13 and 10 years old. The elder one suffers from allergic asthma. We had a maid who was diagnosed with tuberculosis two months back. She had fever even after the anti-tubercular treatment was started. She is better now and is undergoing treatment. My family feels that she is risk-free now and can be re-employed. I am worried for my children, specially the elder one. Can the maid spread the TB infection?

A:In case your maid was sputum positive for tuberculosis, a repeat sample done thrice to prove sputum negativity would be advisable. If she was sputum smear negative and provided she is on adequate doses as per body weight with proper compliance to medication, she should be fit to resume work after 6-8 weeks of therapy. Check with her treating physician regarding disease activity as well as improvement in Xray. Most people with non cavitary, sputum afb negative TB can resume work after 6-8 weeks of adequate treatment.

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