Shared 3 weeks ago • Featured Tip
Tuberculosis or TB as it is commonly known in medical circles is a mycobacterial infection commonly affecting the lungs. While there are some countries in the world, where TB is more common, anybody can develop TB if they are not very healthy. The TB mycobacteria spreads through the air. While some people's immune system would be able to fight the disease back; some people who have risk factors, the disease may continue to develop and present with symptoms.
So, a person can develop TB in two circumstances:
Exposure to TB
Visited a country where TB is very common
Spent time with a person who is infected with TB
Exposure to crowded places like a market or a healthcare facility where TB mycobacteria are present
Weakened immune system
Be HIV infected
Weak immune system due to long-term use of steroids
Chronic diseases like diabetes, malnutrition, end-stage kidney or liver disease, cancer, etc.
Extremes of age (children whose immune system is not fully developed, elderly whose immunity is weakened)
Chronic smoker, IV drug abuse, and/or alcohol user
Drug therapy like chemotherapy, long-term use of steroids, auto-immune disease treatments, etc.
Signs and symptoms of TB:
If you are at risk, it is also suggested that you know the early warning signs and symptoms of TB. TB most commonly affects the lungs and is known as pulmonary tuberculosis. Watching out for these helps in early diagnosis which can both help arrest the condition in the early stages and improve prognosis.
A persistent cough which lasts for more than 3 weeks
Pain in the chest worsened with coughing
Presence of blood in the sputum
Generalized and extreme weakness or fatigue
Unexplained weight loss
Loss of appetite
Fever and chills
Profuse sweating at night