Tuberculoses - commonly referred to as TB, can be defined as an infectious disease that spreads from mycobacteria, mainly Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium africanum, Mycobacterium canetti, and Mycobacterium microti are amongst the bacteria that can cause the infection, though such an occurrence is quite uncommon. Although lungs comprise of the organs that are mostly attacked by the bacteria, it can affect the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, the genitourinary system, the gastrointestinal system, bones, joints, and the skin as well. The disease, if diagnosed on time, can be cured easily. If not, it can prove fatal as well. In the following lines, we have listed all the signs & symptoms of tuberculosis.
Signs & Symptoms Of TB
Early Infection Symptoms
Tuberculosis can affect people of any age group and generally spreads through the air. The early infection can be termed as Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) which implies that a person is carrying a germ in his/her body and have not developed the active symptoms yet. Tuberculosis may even last for a lifetime with developing into a disease. Many people who get infected with the TB germ may never develop active TB. And even if tuberculosis does develop it may develop two or three months later or sometimes it may even take years to develop. Also with the passing time, the risk of active disease reduces. A latent TB is not enough to spread the TB germs, as there are no TB germs in the sputum. Generally, symptoms of tuberculosis depend on where the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, is multiplying. It usually multiplies in the lungs. Although anyone can contract tuberculosis and it is a very common disease around the world, people with HIV infection, in close contact with person with TB, druggists, persons with cancer, diabetes, and other medical conditions etc. Some of the signs and symptoms of early infection TB are body ache, chills, fatigue without any reason, recurrent mild fever, flu-like symptoms, excess sweating, apparent weight loss, and weaknesses. However many of these symptoms also relate to many other diseases and nothing can be said until the proper diagnosis is done.
Symptoms Of Chronic Lung Infection (Pulmonary Tuberculosis)
People with chronic lung infection have symptoms and have active TB which can get spread through air. Generally, the bacteria start multiplying in the lungs and then spread to other parts of the body. However, for a person to catch a TB, he/she ought to have a naturally low immunity and had to be exposed to the air containing tuberculosis bacteria for a long time. Although in many cases the bacteria is kept under control by the immunity of the body, these bacteria may also spread to other parts of the body like, kidneys, brains, joints etc, through the blood stream. Generally, babies, small children, people with other lung diseases, persons with low immune system are in more danger of developing chronic lung infection that is Pulmonary Tuberculosis. The chronic lung infection can be diagnosed by an x-ray of chest and by a test of a sputum sample. Some of the signs and symptoms of Chronic Lung Infection are breathing difficulty with progressive shortness of breath, chest pain, cloudy or reddish urine, coughing up bloody sputum, persistent cough, which lasts three or more weeks, with recurring bouts of fever and significant weight loss. Usually TB disease can be treated with anti-TB drugs but it needs to be taken exactly as prescribed to be effective. Tuberculosis bacteria take really long time to die and so anti-TB medicines (combination of several drugs) must be taken for a longer time for six months or more.