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Will the BCG vaccine protect my child from TB?

Q: My husband and I are staying in London for the past 3 years. We have a 3-month-old child and are planning to go to Nepal for a family visit. We recently found that one of our family members has acquired TB (tuberculosis) and is on medication. Will it be safe to take our baby for the visit? She has had her BCG vaccination when she was 3 weeks old. What precautions do we need to take? Do we aslo need any vaccine?

A:BCG vaccination protects the vaccinees from the systemic complications of tuberculosis infection like tuberculous meningitis, miliary tuberculosis etc. Protection from acquiring pulmonary tuberculosis is not guaranteed. In children the most dangerous outcome of tuberculosis is the systemic complication. Since your relative is under treatment he/she may not be the source of transmission infection to others. Indeed that is one of the purpose of treating the patient of tuberculosis- that is to cut down the transmission of infection.


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