Tuberculosis in children

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

It usually affects the lungs and is caught from other people. Babies and young children are more at risk of infection because their immune systems are not fully developed. In countries where there is a lot of TB, children are more likely to get more severe or life-threatening forms of TB. This is not the case in the UK.

It can also be more difficult to diagnose TB in children because lots of the signs of TB can also be signs of other diseases.

Read more about tuberculosis and the BCG vaccination.

Last medically reviewed: September 2016. Due for review: September 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.