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Tuberculosis is Not Under Control and Can Be Pregnancy Risk

The World Health Organization announced on Thursday, October 13, 2016, that Tuberculosis is not under control as was once believed, and could pose a serious threat to pregnancy. In fact, between 2013 and 2016 there has been an increase of reported cases. This is a real concern for the health community because out of the estimated 10.4 million cases in 2015, only 6.1 M were reported to authorities.

Tuberculosis is responsible for more deaths in the entire world than HIV and malaria.

TB infection is spread through the air from one person to another. TB germs are passed through the air when someone who is sick with TB disease coughs, laughs, sings, or sneezes. TB in pregnancy is related to whether the mother is likely to have been exposed to TB and become infected with it.

TB is NOT spread by:
• shaking someone’s hand
• sharing food or drink
• touching bed linens or toilet seats
• sharing toothbrushes
• kissing

If you are pregnant and think you have been exposed to TB, tell your OBGYN right now. Dealing and treating TB during pregnancy is not easy but the risk is higher if not treated. Your OBGYN will perform the tuberculin test which is safe for both the mother and the baby. Rarely a baby is born with TB but might be affected in other ways such as low birth weight.

Pregnant women who are diagnosed with TB disease should start treatment as soon as TB is detected. Although the TB drugs used in treatment cross the placenta, these drugs do not appear to have harmful effects on the baby.

The Women’s Center of Orlando is known for having the best in technology, best in quality health care providers and best in convenience for our patients in all six locations. If you just learned you are pregnant, call 407.857.2502 to schedule your pre-natal appointment!

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