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Indian J Pediatr. 2011 Mar;78(3):321-7. doi: 10.1007/s12098-010-0353-1. Epub 2011 Jan 7.

Childhood tuberculosis: epidemiology and natural history of disease.

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Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg Children's Hospital, PO Box 19063, Tygerberg, 7505, South Africa.


Despite previous misperceptions that childhood tuberculosis (TB) is less relevant, since children tend to develop mild disease, contribute little to transmission and do not impact epidemic control, awareness is growing that TB is an important preventable cause of disease and death among children in TB endemic areas. At an operational level there remains an urgent need for feasible and implementable policies to guide management in resource limited settings. This manuscript reviews the epidemiology and natural history of TB in children in order to improve understanding of the various disease entities encountered and to provide the rationale for different management approaches.

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