10 Dynamic Facts You Need to Know about Latent TB (Part II)

This Pictures shows a woman drinking from a glass of water, and its used as a symbolic representation to show that latent Tb has no known signs or symptoms.

When the immune system of someone with a latent TB infection is weakened, the chances of the person developing TB infection are high. such weakened immune systems can arise from having other diseases that lower the immune system like HIV/Aids, Diabetes mellitus, and Cancer. Chronic undernutrition, taking drugs that lower the immune system (e.g. steroids) when taken for a long period. Extremes of age (children less than 5 years old and elderly persons).

What are the symptoms of TB disease?

Symptoms of TB can be general irrespective of the organ of the body that is effective or specific (related to the organ of the body that is affected) the common general symptoms of TB disease, include: tiredness mild fever, Night sweats, loss of appetite, and weight loss. The common specific symptoms of TB disease of the lungs include cough, with or without the production of mucus. Chest pain especially while coughing, coughing up blood, difficulty in breathing, or painful breathing.

Presumptive TB

Any person having a persistent cough for 2 weeks or more is a TB suspect (presumptive TB). such a person should go for an examination. The following persons are to be examined for TB, Adults and Children who show either one of the many signs and symptoms suggestive of TB. Persons Living with the Human Immune virus, Adults and Children living with persons with previous history of Tuberculosis most especially drug resistant Tuberculosis.

Pulmonary and Extra-Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Pulmonary TB is simply a type that affects the lungs and has the potential to spread through the body’s organs, While Extra-Pulmonary TB refers to a type of TB infection that affects other organs of the body other than the lungs. some of the sites where an extra-pulmonary infection can occur includes the Lymph nodes, The pleural effusion sites, The spine (Potts disease), the Joint (TB Athritis), Abdominal TB, Pericardium TB, Milliary TB, Meninges TB Meningitis, Genitourinary TB.

The Latent TB

For Persons with a Latent Tb Infection, The only major indicator to this infection is a reaction to the Tuberculin skin test, they (Persons living with Latent TB) do not have the ability to spread TB to other patients, and most of the time 70 – 80% of latent patients end up developing TB Infection if they do not receive the necessary treatment.

A person with latent TB infection has the following xteristics
  • Usually has a skin test or blood test result indicating TB infection
  • Has a normal chest x-ray and a negative sputum test
  • Has TB bacteria in his/her body that are alive, but inactive
  • Does not feel sick,
  • Cannot spread TB bacteria to others
  • Needs treatment for latent TB infection to prevent TB disease; however, if exposed and infected by a person with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) or extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB), preventive treatment may not be an option

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