Tuberculosis

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by the bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis that usually affects the lungs but can infect any location in the body. There are two main types of tuberculosis: active and latent. The active form of the disease is highly contagious and is a serious form of TB. Latent TB is a form of the disease in which a healthy person is exposed to TB and the immune system blocks the bacteria from making that particular person sick, they are not contagious and do not have any symptoms, although they may become ill with the active form of TB in the future if not treated.

Symptoms

  • a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • pain in the chest
  • coughing up blood or sputum
  • weakness or fatigue
  • weight loss
  • no appetite
  • chills
  • fever
  • sweating at night

Risk Factors

You are more at risk of becoming infected with tuberculosis if you:

  • have traveled to countries with prevalent TB disease;
  • had contact with someone who has the active form of TB disease;
  • have ever lived in a homeless shelter or jail; or
  • have ever been employed somewhere that involves contact with other high-risk groups above

If you feel that you have been exposed to TB or are displaying the symptoms listed above, please seek medical treatment immediately and inform the provider’s office that you suspect you have TB when scheduling your appointment.

Useful Resource:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention TB Program

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