Quick Facts: Tuberculosis - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Quick Facts: Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a highly infectious respiratory disease which spreads through the air by coughing, sneezing, speaking or singing. It can be deadly, however, effective treatment is available. Here are some basic facts about the bacteria-caused disease.

Symptoms

  • Cough that is worse in the morning (sometimes with hemoptysis, blood in the sputum)
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Signs of pneumonia

In advanced cases, there may be extreme weight loss.

Detection

  • A simple skin test called a PPD (purified protein derivative) can detect the disease
  • A very small amount of a protein solution is injected just under the skin, and results can be detected in two or three days
  • TB tests are available at hospitals and area health departments; after a Teleride bus driver was diagnosed with TB, the Chatham County Health Department set up special clinics for passengers who may be affected. You can contact them at 912.356.2155.

Treatment

  • TB is treated with special drugs which must be taken for six to nine months
  • Patients must take all their medication to kill the TB germs; otherwise the germs may get stronger

Sources, more information:
http://www.pulmonologychannel.com/tuberculosis/

http://www.gachd.org/
http://www.cdc.gov/tb/faqs/default.htm
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