Recognizing TB in Children and the Difference between Cough Symptoms and Other Diseases

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —

Tuberculosis (TB) does not only affect adults, but also children.

Based on the records of the Global TB Report, there will be around 10.6 million TB cases in 2022. As many as 1.2 million of them are TB cases in children.

TB is basically an infectious disease caused by infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.



Generally, this disease does attack the lungs. But in some cases, TB can also attack other organs such as the skin to the nervous system.

In children, tuberculosis is usually found in areas of the lung parenchyma that do not cause a cough reflex. For this reason, the symptoms of TB in the group of children are generally invisible.

Symptoms of TB in children

TB in children is different from adults. In children, coughing does not always appear as a symptom of tuberculosis.

Here are some of the complaints experienced by children with tuberculosis:

– cough more than 2 weeks,
– fever more than 2 weeks,
– weight loss/not gain in 2 months,
– feeling tired for more than 2 weeks.

In the case of coughing, many parents are still confused about it from a normal cough. There are several ways to differentiate the symptoms of TB or ordinary cough in children.

First, pay attention to the duration of the cough. Cough due to tuberculosis usually lasts for more than 3 weeks.

In TB patients, coughing can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as decreased appetite, not gaining weight even though they eat enough, and night sweats.

Coughing in TB is also used to getting worse as time goes on.

How to prevent TB in children

sick child illustrationIllustration. Children can also get TB disease. (iStock/Kong Ding Check)

Parents can do the following ways so that children avoid the threat of TB:

– drying the mattress so it is not damp,
– open the windows of the house to let the sunlight in,
– regular exercise,
– consumption of healthy food,
– BCG vaccine.

The BCG vaccine is one of the most effective ways of prevention. This vaccine aims to provide active immunity against TB disease.

This vaccine is given once in the form of an injection in the arm. This vaccine should be given before the age of 1 year.

The protective effect of the vaccine against TB is even said to be up to 80 percent.


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(Gambas:Video CNN)

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