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Question:
Hello, Could you please tell me if there are any particular disease-related dangers for a 6 months old coming to Moscow for the first time? Would TB be one of them? Would you suggest avoiding crowded areas like the metro? Thank you very much.
T
Answer:
It is important that your baby has all the routine childhood vaccinations. If you are moving abroad it is a good idea to be aware if your new country is a higher incidence of certain infectious diseases. Russia, for example, has a higher incidence of diphtheria and tuberculosis compared to some western countries. Consider taking your family for a consultation at a travel and vaccination centre. Although there is a higher risk of TB in Russia, in most circumstances this will be small. The risk of catching TB depends on the frequency and length of exposure. Taking the metro will expose you to many people but for a short duration of time. Being in the same household with an active TB carrier is of course a much higher risk. TB tends to affect those with poor nutrition, poor general health and living in over crowded conditions. Children are more at risk than adults because their immune systems are not mature. It is important to be aware of the increased risk of TB in Russia and to have TB skin testing regularly. Some countries vaccinate children with a BCG vaccine, but this is not universal, you should check with your doctor what the recommendations are for children in your home country.
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