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What is the painless lump at my child's neck indicative of?

Q: My year old child was admitted to a hospital a week back owning to diarrhoea. She was almost cured when we noticed some swelling at her neck. The doctor said that it was inflammation of the lymph gland and prescribed anti-biotics injections. But the swelling turned into a painless lump and now the doctor has asked to do a Mantoux test, a peripheral smear, an x-ray of the chest and a blood test. I am really worried. What could be the problem?

A:It appears that your baby has an enlarged lymph gland in the neck. These usually occur because of infection. The common bacterial infections can be controlled by antibiotics. In case the swelling persists, the chronic infections like tuberculosis need to be excluded for which your doctor has advised these tests. There is clearly nothing to worry, since all such infections are treatable.

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