A cluster of tuberculosis cases in a family.

O. O. Ejidokun*, S. Ramaiah, S. Sandhu

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)


A 40 year old Indian woman who had recently returned from a visit to India with her eldest son was diagnosed with miliary tuberculosis in January 1994. Contact tracing revealed that her three sons, aged 19, 21, and 22, all had BCG scars from vaccinations administered at birth in India and Heaf tests of grades 2-3. None of them was given chemoprophylaxis, although this was considered, as suggested by the guidelines then available (1990). About 18 months later, the eldest son was notified as a case of tuberculosis. The youngest son, who shared a room with the eldest, developed a right tuberculous pleural effusion over three years after his mother became ill. The 41 year old husband of the index case and their 21 year old son remain well at the time of this report and are being followed up. These cases highlight the importance of stringent follow up, contact tracing, good liaison between general practitioners and chest clinic staff, and chemoprophylaxis for the contacts of tuberculosis cases. Guidelines about the management of contacts of sputum positive cases over 16 years old need to be clarified. A history of a recent overseas trip should raise suspicions of infection with tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-262
Number of pages4
JournalCommunicable disease and public health / PHLS
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


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