Premature Baby in Australia Contracts Rare TB Strain

by Medindia Content Team on  January 22, 2008 at 1:04 PM Respiratory Disease News
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Premature Baby in Australia Contracts Rare TB Strain
A premature baby in Melbourne, Australia has contracted tuberculosis while in the womb of his healthy mother.

The Monash Medical Centre says staff and other babies who may have come into contact with the newborn are being screened for the disease.

Southern Health's Infection Control Co-ordinator, Dr Rhonda Stuart, says the baby caught the disease from his mother.

"The baby has been born at the Monash Medical Centre in late 2007," she said.

"The mother has most likely got the disease in the pelvis and has passed the germ to her baby just before or during birth," Dr Stuart said.

The Monash Medical Centre says the baby has been isolated and the mother poses no risk to the community.

But Dr Stuart says 25 newborn babies, their parents and 100 staff at the Monash Medical Centre were being screened.

"We think that the risk of anyone acquiring TB from this child is very, very small," she said.

"But we are taking the precautionary measure of offering TB screening, TB testing, to people that have had prolonged contact with this baby and that will involve both babies, parents and staff," she said.

Dr Stuart says it's a very unusual case.

"Congenital tuberculosis is very rare, we have only about 300 cases reported in the literature, but of course there's probably more cases in developing countries, but here in Australia it's a very rare occurrence," she said.

Source: Medindia
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