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Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis exposure in pregnancy

10/25/2007

Question:

My niece is 3 mos pregnant. She had contact 2 weeks ago at a family gathering and 2 days ago with my dad (her god father) who now has a positive TB skin test. CXR not done yet. My dad has a cough, had hip replacement surgery 1 wk ago and is in a rehab facility, CXR prior to surgery was supposedly negative however no one was aware of the TB piece b/c he was given that on admission to the rehab facility.

What is the concern for my niece and what, if any, actions should she take? Get a TB test herself from her OB? Any concerns about the development of the fetus? Thanks for any info.

Answer:

It will not harm your niece (or her unborn baby) to have a TB skin test placed and read. If she has active tuberculosis disease, she would need to be treated to protect he unborn baby from infection. But, it sounds more likely that her god father has latent TB if the CXR before surgery was indeed normal. Perhaps her OB physician can call your dad's physician so that your niece can know what to be concerned about.

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Response by:

Lisa A Haglund, MD Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati