What are the symptoms of TB disease in a small child?

TB bacteria may cause the disease in the lungs of the child or elsewhere in the body such as lymph nodes, abdominal area or bones. The disease can also spread throughout the body and to the brain. The symptoms of TB disease depend on which part of the body is affected and the child’s age.

The symptoms of TB disease in infants and children below 5 years of age may be minor. The child may have cough, appear to be ill, have a fever and the child’s growth may slow down. The child may lose weight, or weight does not develop normally. The child may be tired and doesn’t have the energy to play and isn’t as active as usual.

TB disease can progress much faster in a small child than in a bigger child or an adult. A child can become severely ill within a few weeks, and the disease may be life-threatening.

Child tuberculosis