Does my daughter have TB despite normal lab reports?
Q: My 15 year old daughter aged is suffering from fever and cough for the past 10 days, which hasn't subsided as yet. We took her to local doctor, who prescribed some tests. The sputum tests (3 days samples) showed negative.The Mantoux test showed negative. The chest X-ray showed congestion. The doctor said she has TB and needs treatment for 9 months. All the tests are negative and doctor still says she is infected with TB. I request you to answer the following questions: 1. Is it right to diagnose something only on the basis of X-ray? 2. Is this disease curable? If so, how long does it take? 3.How could my daughter be infected with TB, despite all the preventive dosages given to her in childhood? 4. Can there be a relapse after the treatment? 5. The doctor also says in case of children, TB may affect the brain. If this situtation occurs, how can it be tackled?
A:Here are the answers to your questions: 1. X-ray sometimes may be suggestive of tuberculosis but is not always confirmatory. We may have to consider other investigations. 2. Tuberculosis is treatable and the duration of treatment may vary from 6 to 9 months 3. Immunisation may not completely eliminate the risk of tuberculosis. If she has TB, she might have got it from somebody. 4. If it is tuberculosis and is treated appropriately, the chances of a relapse are usually minimal. 5. Tuberculosis may disseminate to any organ and also to brain, but usually this spread is seen in small children and elderly people. If it happens, it can be treated.