How to manage TB in children? Problems and solutions in four cases

Danilo Buonsenso 1 , Daniele Serranti 1 , Benedetta Focarelli 1 , Antonio Chiaretti 1 , Roberta Calzedda 1 , and Piero Valentini 1
  • 1 Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy

Abstract

Children bear a substantial part of the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic worldwide, and it is estimated that there were ≅ 500.000 childhood TB cases globally in 2010, although accurate data are problematic to obtain given the many difficulties associated with TB diagnosis in children and the weaknesses of surveillance systems in countries where TB is endemic. The World Health Organization is working hard in order to reduce the TB prevalence rates and deaths by half by 2015. In this challenge, general practitioners and pediatricians play a key role in detecting early cases of suspected TB and sending them to experts in infectious diseases. This will reduce delayed diagnosis and the spread of disease, which is especially important now that the prevalence of multidrug resistant TB is increasing. For this reason, the purpose of this report was to delineate the characteristic clinical features of the most common forms of pediatric TB and to suggest a rational and practical approach to the disease underlining the role of patients and parents personal and clinical history.

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