How effective is TB vaccination?


Q: MY ex husband who is in constant contact with my 2yr old grandson is showing signs of tb. How do I check for symptoms on my grandson and would he be in danger even if he had his injection at 1yrs. are we at risk and if so what precautions can we take


A:   The classic symptoms are a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. No vaccine is 100% guaranteed to prevent a disease. The protective effect of the vaccine is variable in pulmonary TB, but is over 80% effective in preventing serious complications from TB such as meningitis, in children. TB is caused by direct inhalation of infective droplets, such as those released by coughing, sneezing or speaking. If you live in close proximity or there is prolonged, frequent, or intense contact you are at particularly high risk of becoming infected. TB can only be transmitted if it is active, so I would advise that your ex-husband is tested, minimises contact and wears a mask until he is commenced on treatment, or tests are confirmed negative.

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