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Question
Posted by: Pierre Steyn | 2009/10/26

TB

I was in close contact with a person having TB (In same car for 3 hours)
Is there any medicine thay i can take to prevent me geting TB?
thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Pierre
The good news is that if you have a normal immune system, it is unlikely that you will get TB, especially as all of us in SA have had a TB vaccination (BCG) at birth. People with prolonged, frequent, or intense contact are at highest risk of becoming infected, with an estimated 22% infection rate. TB prevention is used in patients on cancer medication, with HIV or other immune disorders but normally not for healthy people. INH is used for prevention but you have to take it 6-12 months and it has unpleasant side effects. What I'll suggest is that you ask your GP to do a TB skin test on you after 3 months - you will quickly see if there are any signs of infection which you then can treat immediately.
If the person that you were in contact with, was on medication, even though he has TB, he would not have been infective if he has been taking his medication for more than a week.
Dr Bets

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: cyberdoc | 2009/10/26

Hallo Pierre
The good news is that if you have a normal immune system, it is unlikely that you will get TB, especially as all of us in SA have had a TB vaccination (BCG) at birth. People with prolonged, frequent, or intense contact are at highest risk of becoming infected, with an estimated 22% infection rate. TB prevention is used in patients on cancer medication, with HIV or other immune disorders but normally not for healthy people. INH is used for prevention but you have to take it 6-12 months and it has unpleasant side effects. What I'll suggest is that you ask your GP to do a TB skin test on you after 3 months - you will quickly see if there are any signs of infection which you then can treat immediately.
If the person that you were in contact with, was on medication, even though he has TB, he would not have been infective if he has been taking his medication for more than a week.
Dr Bets

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