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Tuberculosis is a highly infectious and potentially fatal disease which primarily affects the lungs. It is highly contagious and can infect other people via the tiny water droplets released by an infected person while coughing or sneezing. Some strains of this disease have the potential to resist drugs, which are commonly used to cure tuberculosis.
Read more to find all about the different causes, symptoms, preventive measures and the treatment of tuberculosis:
- Symptoms: Tuberculosis, also known as TB, can be both latent and active. In latent condition TB is not contagious and it does not harm the infected person. But latent TB can change to an active form so treating it in its latent condition is highly advisable. Active TB can be diagnosed due to the prevalence of certain symptoms such as a cough, which lasts for more than 3 weeks, coughing up of blood, unintentional weight loss, chills, chest pain, loss of appetite and fever. Tuberculosis mainly affects the lungs, but can also affect your kidneys, brain and spinal cord.
- Causes: Tuberculosis in general is caused by infection. It spreads from person to person by ultra-small droplets, which an infected person releases while coughing or sneezing. Tuberculosis is highly contagious but it is not very easy to catch TB as the immune system of your body fights it off. Also if a patient of TB is under treatment, the person 's disease is no more contagious.
- Risk factors: Potentially everyone can be infected with TB but certain factors increase the chances of infection such as a weakened immune system, living in or travelling to certain areas and substance abuse. TB can also cause complications such as spinal and joint damage, liver or kidney problems and heart disorders.
- Treatment: Administering medical drugs is the most convenient way of treating TB. But TB is more persistent than normal bacterial infections and utmost care and caution must be taken to treat it. Completion of treatment is highly essential to fully cure TB. Some of the side effects of TB medication include loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dark urine and jaundice. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pulmonologist.