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Hi, few nights ago my five years old daughter came down with high temperature. She had been coughing for days so I have been giving her cough syrup. When the temperature didn’t return to normal until the morning, I got frightened and took her to a doctor. After various testing the doctor said that my daughter might be having tuberculosis pneumonia. I am very concerned because I know that tuberculosis is very serious. The thing that confuses me is how do the doctors know the difference between tuberculosis pneumonia and regular pneumonia?

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Hi, the basic difference between tuberculosis pneumonia and regular pneumonia is the cause. Tuberculosis pneumonia is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the other types may be caused by different bacteria or viruses. High fever and productive cough are amongst the first symptoms of tuberculosis pneumonia. I believe that the doctor did the preliminary skin test to determine the existence of the tuberculosis bacteria. The reason why the doctor is not completely sure that your daughter has tuberculosis is the fact that it takes several weeks for the definitive diagnosis to be confirmed with the growth of bacteria culture. However, because tuberculosis pneumonia is a serious condition the treatment should be started right away. You will have to be very strong because the treatment for this condition may last up to eighteen months, depending on the resistance of the bacteria. Your daughter will need all your love and support to get through this illness as fast as possible.
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Being a respiratory physician i can b of help.Your babygirl can b diagnosed as tubercular pneumonia after sputum AFB analysis reveals mycobacterium tuberculosis,however,obtaining sputum in this age group is not easy and a short course of broad spectrum antibiotics should be started along with CECT Thorax(chest).If hilar or mediastinal lymphadenopathy is seen with necrosis,calcification and peripheral rim enhancement after contrast injection then tuberculous pneumonia should be put at the first place of diagnosis and treatment should be started with ATT(Anti Tubercular Drugs)-2 months of HRZ FOLLOWED by 4 months HR.CECT will also reveal the lung parenchymal lesion,which will clear all doubts.Off course if she can produce sputum then sputum analysis is the gold stanadard.

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