5.1 Background

Tuberculosis (TB) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in children in settings of high TB prevalence. The lack of an accurate diagnostic method has contributed to a gross underestimation of its true burden. In high prevalence settings, children < 15 years old are expected to make up 10 to 20% of all TB cases1.

The characteristics of TB disease and approach to diagnosis in children > 10 years old are similar to those for adults. This section focuses on children < 10 years old.