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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Global Health Research Institute

Are refugee children and adolescents with TB in danger of going undetected under current screening procedures?

Published: 5 January 2016
Refugee children

University researcher Dr Marc Tebruegge has co-authored a letter, just published in the Lancet, which responds to a 2015 Lancet Editorial (Sept 12, p 1013) that emphasised the slow and inadequate response of health institutions and professional bodies to the on-going refugee crisis in Europe.

Global Health research Institute member, Dr Marc Tebruegge

The letter, under the heading 'Tuberculosis in young refugees', expresses concerns that refugee children and adolescents are at risk of being neglected as a group if symptom-based tuberculosis screening is used exclusively. Children often have few and only non-specific tuberculosis symptoms, which can be missed by such screening approaches.

Dr Tebruegge is a Clinical Lecturer in Paediatric Infectious Diseases & Immunology in the Academic Unit for Clinical and Experimental Sciences and researcher at the University's Global Health Research Institute and the Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit.

Writing on behalf of the Paediatric Tuberculosis Network European Trials group (ptbnet), Dr Tebruegge and his co-authors, Nicole Ritz, Folke Brinkmann, Begoña Santiago Garcia, and Beate Kampmann, call for screening refugee children and adolescents for both latent and active tuberculosis on arrival. In addition, the authors emphasise the importance of training staff based in primary and emergency treatment services, in vigilance for and recognition of tuberculosis symptoms in this vulnerable population.

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