Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Tuberculosis in Infants and Children
Infants and children who have regular contact (such as living in the
same house) with someone who has active (infectious)
tuberculosis (TB) have an increased risk of becoming
infected. It is extremely rare for a fetus to become infected before
immune systems quickly produce the tiny capsules
(tubercles) that surround and wall off (encapsulate) TB-causing bacteria in the
lungs. This process may cause extensive lung damage. Often a TB infection in
infants quickly becomes active TB. In infants, it is also common for the
disease to affect other parts of the body in addition to the lungs. Therefore,
an infant who is found to have a TB infection needs to be treated as soon as
possible. TB usually does not spread outside the lungs in older children unless
they have weakened immune systems.
Children who have active TB who complete an entire course of
treatment usually recover fully.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerR. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
Current as ofMay 24, 2016
Current as of:
May 24, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.