Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that spreads through the lymph nodes. It usually begins in the lung area. The bacteria thrive in places with hefty supply of oxygen and blood that is why it is commonly found in the lung area. Since it is airborne, you can immediately get infected if you are exposed to the virus. It can be transmitted with a single cough.
Tuberculosis is of two types, the latent TB and the active TB.
- Latent TB is a condition where a person has the TB virus kept under control. The immune system is strong enough to keep the disease from being active and from transmitting it to other persons as well. But once the immune system weakens, it will become active and will surely wreak havoc to your health.
- Active TB is a condition wherein the TB bacteria in your lungs are active. Therefore it can be quickly spread from one person to another. A person could acquire the bacteria if he breathes in the air with the TB bacteria in it. It could be spread 10 times faster through a cough or a laugh. They serve as a medium for the bacteria to travel faster.
Do I Have TB already if I usually Cough?
Early detection of the TB bacteria is a very vital step to the success of the medication. The earlier the prognosis is, the easier the intervention would be. And early detection also prevents the bacteria from finding a new host. If you cough intermittently, does it mean you have the bacteria already? When symptoms are present, it is then imperative to seek medical attention.
• A cough that releases thick bloody mucus that originates from the lungs. This condition usually persists for more than two weeks.
• Unexplained weight loss
• Fever and night sweats
• Malaise or general body weakness
• Shortness of breath or chest pain
• A rapid heartbeat
• Loss of appetite
Symptoms of active TB gradually develop over a period of weeks or months. Sometimes you might have one or two symptoms and might not even be aware that you are harboring the disease. So if you experience two symptoms that persist for a period of two weeks, it is best to seek medical advice.
Latent TB usually has no symptoms. If you have been exposed to the Tuberculosis bacteria, it is recommended that you go to your doctor for a skin swab test. This is to determine if you are carrying the latent TB bacteria. Even if it is not contagious yet, once your immune system weakens, it is a great opportunity for the bacteria to become active.