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Can my son get infected with TB from my brother?

Q: How can I protect both my sons aged 7 & 1.6 years from getting tuberculosis (TB) from my younger brother? He lives with us in our joint family. My older son used to sleep with my brother before the detection of TB. Both my children are vaccinated with BCG. Is there is any chance that they can get infected. My brother is under treatment, but my both sons are always in contact with him. What should I do now?

A:Close family contacts of TB patients require a clinical evaluation by the doctor to check for clinical signs and symptoms of TB infection, and chemoprophylaxis based on the individual cases, especially in cases where the patient is an open case (AFB positive; shedding TB bacilli in respiratory secretions). Basic respiratory hygiene should be observed by your brother (TB patient) taking care not to cough openly, covering the mouth while coughing with a handkerchief, and avoiding close contact with other family members for the initial one month period of treatment. Please take your sons to the treating doctor, or a child specialist for an examination.

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