What Are the Basics of Tuberculosis?

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious lung disease. This potentially serious disease is spread through small droplets from the patients’ sneezes or coughs.

 

What are symptoms of TB?

There are inactive TB and active TB. The former doesn’t cause any symptom, while the latter does.

Common symptoms of active TB include:

  • Blood in cough
  • Coughing for at least 3 straight weeks
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Weight loss with no reason
  • Painful coughing or breathing
  • Pain in the chest

What are the causes and risk factors of TB?

The main cause of TB is bacteria.

You get the bacteria through tiny droplets released into the air via sneezes or cough from TB patients.

Risk factors of TB include:

  • Weaker immune system. People suffering HIV, diabetes, malnutrition, or severe kidney disease are much more likely to catch TB.
  • Living or traveling in some parts of the world. Areas such as Russia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America have higher rates of TB.

 

How is TB diagnosed?

Common steps include:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood test
  • Skin test
  • Sputum test

 

What are treatment options for TB?

TB is usually treated with medications.

Common drugs used to cure TB include:

  • Pyrazinamide
  • Isoniazid
  • Ethambutol
  • Rifampin

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.