Best friend has contracted a communicable disease advice needed

posted 6 months ago in Relationships
Post # 31
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

If she is “not really intetested” in doing what she can to protect you, your baby, and those around her then I would be “not really interested” to see her until she does. Lots of parents insist anyone coming to see their baby has had the flu shot, and I don’t see this as any different.

Post # 32
351 posts
Helper bee

v132722 :  My brother was treated and no longer has TB, active or latent.   I’m nearly 8 years younger than he, so by the time of my arrival our grandmother no longer had active TB either.  Both my brother and I were tested for TB multiple times as adults, and all tests came up negative.

It would have been hella less trouble though if the adult responsible for this clusterfuck prioritized her grandchild’s health over her convenience.

Post # 33
531 posts
Busy bee

Tbh she should take the treatment. Yes the medication looks like it can be quite nasty, however, in my opinion it’s irresponsible and immoral to walk around knowing there’s a 5-10% chance you could develop a serious highly infectious disease that kills people when you can take medication to prevent it. 


Post # 34
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

psyche1978 :  Just fyi being positive on the test skin does not necessarily mean you have latent TB. I was vaccinated when I was a kid and was tested positive on the skin test ever since (xrays were clear). A few years ago my school was concerned by the result so they paid for a Quantiferon test (detect latent TB) and it came back negative.

Post # 35
688 posts
Busy bee

Good luck avoiding the 13 million people in the USA that have latent TB.

Post # 36
27 posts
  • Wedding: May 2019

Not an expert but I am a Med student. TB is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. They estimate almost 1/3 of the worlds population has active or latent TB. Oftentimes the disease can stay latent, but if it does become active it can be absolutely devastating. TB can cause destruction in every organ of the body, including the brain, if it spreads. I find it silly she wants to wait until she has symptoms. It is no joke. If someone was to become immunosuppressed, TB that was latent can wreck havoc. She is putting those with compromised immune systems at great risk if her disease were to become active. I would stay away. TB is airborne, so being in the same room with someone with active disease will easily get you infected. 

There are actually laws about abiding by the medication in some areas of the world (so she might be REQUIRED by law to take her meds in front of a health care practitioner for every dose)

Post # 37
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

If she’s been living all over the world, then I would just treat things as though she’s still living far away and skype (as a PP suggested) or speak by phone. I’d also let her know “I know that your medical decisions are yours to make and I’m sure you’re working with your doctors to make the best possible decision, but until you have completed that regimen and have a clear TB test, I don’t feel comfortable having my baby around you or being around you, myself.”

Also, I just wanted to say that I sympathize with you, trying to navigate this with a new baby. It’s a jarring thing to suddenly feel like the world is this crazy, disease infested place when you have a little person with a developing immune system to take care of. Please also know that babies are generally pretty tough and they’re built for this cootie riddled world we live in. As long as you’re being attentive to your child’s health and remaining in dialogue with your medical practitioners, you are doing your best to protect your baby and shouldn’t stress yourself out too much.

Post # 38
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

squishee :  I agree with you – latent TB is absolutely not comparable with untreated HIV. I work in public health and while I understand OP’s concerns for her baby’s health, I think she should listen to her doctor and pediatrician, who are not concerned.

If her latent TB becomes active, your friend will start experiencing symptoms. Then she can get treated. Millions of people have latent TB. It might not be worth it to her to damage her liver on the small chance that she will become infectious. 

Post # 39
1173 posts
Bumble bee

I’m sorry, but if I was diagnosed with latent TB, I would do everything I possibly can to try to prevent it from becoming active.

I am a health care professional and have to take a TB test every year.  I’ve never had a positive test, but several of my coworkers have.  All had clear chest x-rays.  I know a few that decided to do the once a day medication (which is generic so it’s not that expensive, and insurance covers it) and went through the regimen of having their liver enzymes checked.  It’s really not that big a deal.  One did not and she applied to work in the NICU (where I work) and she was denied until she went through that medication regimen.  You can become immunocompromised at any time (think how many people got sick with influenza this year) so saying that one is just going to wait until symptoms arise is being irresponsible in my opinion.  This is my employer’s stance as well.  If this particular coworker has any kind of respiratory symptoms (even that of a common cold), she had to have a note from her physician that it is OK for her to work.  Active TB symptoms can start as very non-specific, so you may not know if it’s something like a cold or flu or full on TB until tests come back, which can take several days.  In the meantime, you can be infecting everyone around you.

I’m sorry, I think your friend is being selfish.  I’d have no problem telling her that and keeping my child away.

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