The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control published new guidelines on Friday for how to investigate and control tuberculosis in children.
The ECDC completed an assessment of practices in the European Union and European Economic Area and found that most countries use a similar approach in investigation and control of tuberculosis.
In response, the ECDC put together a report to provide comprehensive guidance on how to investigate, treat and prevent the spread of tuberculosis in children. Included in the guidelines are best practices for investigating an incident and documenting an outbreak.
The ECDC said it hopes awareness of childhood tuberculosis will increase, and that national measures will be put in place to prevent spread of the disease.
Children have an increased risk of contracting tuberculosis within one year of being exposed to people with the virus. The ECDC said this is used as an indicator of transmission within a community, and quickly identifying the source of the infection and proper investigation is essential for controlling the disease.
The ECDC said that early detection is essential for successful treatment and prevention of severe forms of tuberculosis, and that stopping childhood tuberculosis is an essential part of eliminating tuberculosis altogether.