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Tuberculosis: causes, symptoms, treatments, prevention

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Without treatment, tuberculosis can be fatal. Untreated active disease typically affects your lungs, but it can spread to other parts of your body through your bloodstream. Examples of tuberculosis complications include: Spinal pain. Back pain and stiffness are common complications of tuberculosis. Joint damage.


What are the causes of Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings.


What are the symptoms of Tuberculosis?

  • Coughing for three or more weeks
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite


How can I treat Tuberculosis?

  • Stay home. Don't go to work or school or sleep in a room with other people during the first few weeks of treatment.
  • Ventilate the room. Tuberculosis germs spread more easily in small closed spaces where air doesn't move. If it's not too cold outdoors, open the windows and use a fan to blow indoor air outside.
  • Cover your mouth. Use a tissue to cover your mouth anytime you laugh, sneeze or cough. Put the dirty tissue in a bag, seal it and throw it away.
  • Wear a face mask. Wearing a face mask when you're around other people during the first three weeks of treatment may help lessen the risk of transmission.

How can I treat Tuberculosis?

Medications are the cornerstone of tuberculosis treatment. But treating TB takes much longer than treating other types of bacterial infections.For active tuberculosis, you must take antibiotics for at least six to nine months. The exact drugs and length of treatment depend on your age, overall health, possible drug resistance and the infection's location in the body.


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