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Pulmonary tuberculosis: contagion, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Tuberculosis is a contagious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which usually affects the lungs, but can be cured and prevented. The risk of contracting tuberculosis is higher for people who have a weak immune system, such as in cases of HIV infections, if you have diabetes, malnutrition, or if you smoke. If tuberculosis is not treated in time, it can be fatal. At FastlyHeal, we explain pulmonary tuberculosis’s contagion, symptoms, and treatment.

Pulmonary tuberculosis contagion

Pulmonary tuberculosis is transmitted through the air and is spread by inhaling the droplets that remain in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Patients who develop tuberculosis are because they had previously been infected, but the disease had not progressed. This can reactivate weeks after the primary infection has passed.

Symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis

When it is in the primary phase of the disease, there are no symptoms, but when they appear, they can be the following:

  • Cough and expectoration with blood.
  • Sweating, especially at night.
  • Weightloss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Fever.
  • Difficulty breathing.

The symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis can be mild for a long time, and therefore patients are slow to go to medical consultation. A physical test will be performed to diagnose the disease, where attention will be paid to respiratory sounds if there is inflammation in the lymph nodes or changes in the nails and fingers of the hands and feet. Tests such as a bronchoscopy, chest X-rays, or sputum cultures (discharge from the nose, throat, or bronchial tubes) may also be ordered.

Treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis

Generally, the treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis consists of administering a combination of antibiotics and four antimicrobials to end the infection; in the same way, tests will be done until laboratory tests indicate which drug works best. It should be noted that these medications can have side effects that affect vision; it is pertinent to have an eye exam before starting treatment to see if any changes occur. On the other hand, tuberculosis bacteria can also become immune to treatment.

The prognosis is favorable if it is detected in time, and if the medications are administered and taken correctly, some change can be seen from the third week. Pulmonary tuberculosis must be treated as soon as possible, as it can cause permanent damage to the lungs and spread to other organs.

Precautionary measures

There are some preventive measures; if you have been exposed to this disease, the idea is to perform a skin test, if it is positive, it does not mean that it is contagious, but you should consult your doctor. When starting treatment, the patient should be isolated for the first three weeks and wear a mask to avoid inhaling any bacteria; the physical contact with others should be limited. It is also recommended that the room have a natural light entrance since the sun can help limit bacteria. Avoid places with crowds of people.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Pulmonary tuberculosis: contagion, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend entering our Lung and respiratory tract category.

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