SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TB
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body such as the kidneys, spine, and brain. The signs and symptoms of TB can vary depending on the part of the body that is affected, but the most common symptoms of pulmonary TB are:
Persistent cough: A cough that lasts for more than two weeks, often producing phlegm or sputum, which may contain blood.
Chest pain: Pain or discomfort in the chest, especially during breathing or coughing.
Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak all the time.
Loss of appetite: A decreased desire to eat or feeling full after eating small amounts.
Here are some preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of TB:
Vaccination: The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is the most common vaccine for TB prevention. It is usually given to infants and young children in countries with a high incidence of TB.
Avoid close contact with people who have active TB: TB is spread through the air when someone with active TB coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. So, try to avoid spending time with people who have active TB.
Cover your mouth and nose: When you’re in close contact with someone who has TB, wear a mask or a respirator that covers your mouth and nose.
Improve ventilation: TB bacteria can survive in the air for several hours, especially in enclosed spaces. So, make sure that your living and workspaces are well-ventilated.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A strong immune system can help prevent TB infection from turning into active disease. So, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.
Test and treat latent TB: If you’ve been exposed to TB or have a higher risk of developing TB, your healthcare provider may recommend a TB skin test or blood test. If you test positive, your healthcare provider may recommend preventive treatment to reduce the risk of developing active TB.
It’s important to note that TB is a serious condition that requires medical treatment. So, if you think you may have been exposed to TB or are experiencing symptoms, such as coughing, fever, weight loss, or night sweats, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Weight loss: Losing weight without trying or unintentional weight loss.
Fever: A low-grade fever that persists for several weeks.
Night sweats: Profuse sweating during sleep, causing damp bedding and clothes.
Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing, especially during physical exertion.
Chills: Feeling cold or shivering, usually in the late afternoon or evening.
It is important to note that these symptoms may not be present in all cases of TB, and some people with TB may have no symptoms at all. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have TB, it is important to seek medical attention right away.