Health and Fitness

Tuberculosis: Understand the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

TB- Tuberculosis is a serious infection that primarily affects your lungs. The bacteria can spread from one person to another through the droplets released into the air while sneezing or coughing. If not treated on time, TB can be fatal. However, this infectious disease is treatable and preventable. By understanding the crucial tuberculosis information, you can lower the chances of getting affected by TB. Keep reading to learn more about this disease.

Understanding the Symptoms of TB

TB has been categorised into Latent TB and Active TB. In the case of latent TB, the bacteria remain inactive in the body, and you would not develop any symptoms. That’s why it is also known as inactive TB. However, it can turn into active TB. So, necessary treatment is crucial.

On the other hand, active TB is a condition that will make you sick, and it can also spread to others, like your family members and friends. In general, the symptoms will be visible after a few weeks of getting infected with the Tuberculosis bacteria. Good health education about tuberculosis can help people to know more about this and what steps they should take to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Some symptoms are:

  • Cough lasting more than three weeks.
  • Weight loss and a loss of appetite
  • Swelling around the neck
  • Chest pain
  • Night sweats
  • A fever
  • Weakness

It can also affect other parts of the body, like the brain, spine and kidneys. If it affects your kidney, then you may develop symptoms like blood in the urine.

Causes of TB

Tuberculosis bacteria is the primary reason behind TB. These bacteria can be easily spread through the air in tiny droplets when a TB patient talks, laughs, spits, coughs or sneezes. As per the doctors, people with active tuberculosis can only transmit the disease. Different studies have proved that patients with TB may not transmit the bacteria after getting proper treatment for around two weeks.

Prevention Tips for TB

Ways to prevent tuberculosis bacteria from infecting a healthy person include:

  • Using a mask and covering your mouth while talking or sneezing. Keep the room ventilated.
  • Getting diagnosed and receiving appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Understanding the Risk Factors

As per health experts, people with weak immune systems can easily develop active tuberculosis. Some of the health issues that can weaken your immune system are:

  • Low body weight or malnutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Cancers
  • Kidney issues
  • Different cancer treatments, like Chemotherapy
  • Medications for psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis and more

Prevention Tips

If you are suffering from active TB, then it will take around two to three weeks of treatment with proper medication before you are not contagious anymore. Complete your TB medication to protect yourself and your family and friends from getting affected by the bacteria. If you stop using medicines, the bacteria will develop mutation, and they will become resistant to more potent medicines for TB.

In some countries where the cases of TB are very high, children are vaccinated with an anti-TB vaccination called the BCG- Bacillus Calmette Guerin vaccine. Many countries have added it to their regular immunisation program. However, it may be noted that the vaccine is not allowed for general use in the USA as this is not effective in adults. However, many new TB vaccines are in the stages of testing and development.

When Should You Visit Your Doctor?

If you think you have been exposed to TB, then it is advisable to consult your doctor as soon as possible. They may suggest you get tested. The decision will be more important if you develop any signs of illness that could mean that you have been affected by the bacteria. Even though it is treatable, it can become fatal.


You should keep in mind that an active TB infection is potentially life-threatening as well as contagious if the patient doesn’t get proper treatment. Besides, most TB infection cases are treatable, and they can be cured if you can detect them early. And proper health education of tuberculosis can help you with that. When you are equipped with important tuberculosis information, it will be much easier for you to detect the symptoms and consult your doctor for necessary medical attention. So, keep yourself educated and updated about TB and stay safe.

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