"[I] recently became aware of some new medical information that has affected my girls and I wanted to pass it on. I figured if it was new to me (I am suppose to know this stuff) then maybe you didn't know it either. Our children received a vaccine in Ukraine for Tb called BCG. It was suppose to protect them from Tb. It is not a good vaccine and doesn't work very well. That is why the US doesn't use it. My girls actually received it more than once. The real problem with the vaccine is that it turns the usual skin test (ppd) that we use here to test to see if someone has been exposed to Tb, useless. It has widely been assumed (until very recently ) that if you had BCG you should not even do a ppd skin test because it would always be positive and that would be a false positive and mean nothing. So the only way to test for Tb was to do a chest xray and that would show tif you had active Tb. There was no way to tell if you had just been exposed. So all of our children were required to have chest xrays before we left Ukraine to come to the US. Well, recently for some very strange reasons, I found out that those guidelines have changed. I am sending you a very good article that outlines the changes that you can print and bring to your doctors. The guidelines say that you should do a ppd and if it is positive then you should do a special Q. Gold blood test. If that is positive then the child should be treated for one year with a medicine called INH to prevent conversion in the future to active Tb. You see, many of our children, despite the vaccine have been exposed to Tb in Ukraine but have not yet developed active Tb. This is the stage when they are healthy and the Tb can be stopped from ever developing into active disease. The INH is not without risk but when they are young the risks are much smaller than when they are older. Also, the medicine must be taken regularly for one year to be affective and that is more likely to happen when they are still living in our homes under our care than when they are out on their own some day. Also, after talking to the head of Infection Disease at the Univ. of Iowa and at the Center of Disease Control, Atlanta they believe it should be done within 5 years of arriving to the US for best benefit. Only one of my daughters is positive by the blood test. So it doesn't mean that your children are positive, only that it is a possibility. It doesn't mean that they are sick. Just that they have a chance of becoming sick in the future (maybe many many years from now) but that it can be prevented if they are treated now. The state health department pays and provides the medicine. My daughter did need to have one more chest xray to prove that she still had no active disease before we could begin the treatment. If they had found any disease then they would have treated her with two medicines instead of only one. After the treatment no further treatment is ever needed again. I hope this helps. I was still working under the old model and so was our doctor. Pass this on to anyone that you think could benefit."
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