Tuberculosis (TB) Can Be Deadly If You Don’t See Doctor On Time:

Spread the love


Worldwide, TB  found one of the top 10 causes of death (above HIV/AIDS). In 2018, the South-East Asian region found the largest number of new TB cases with 44% new cases, African region with 24% new cases, and the Western Pacific with 18%. And a total of 87% of new cases of TB found in 30 highest TB burden countries; some are India, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and South Africa.

Tuberculosis (TB) caused by “Mycobacterium Tuberculosis”, which is also called Acid-Fast Bacillus because its cell wall is made up of high lipid (approximately 60%) that has the inability to gram-stain. TB is a long-faced, contagious, and slow-growing bacterial infection that usually attacks the lungs but also affects other parts of the body like the spine, brain, kidney, and intestines.

As it is a contagious infection and transmitted from person to person by respiratory aerosols produced by cough, sneeze, and its initial site of infection is the lungs. Low immune system patients have a high chance of developing it.


There are 2 types of TB: 

  • Latent TB: A patient has undivided TB microorganism because of a strong immune system in their body but won’t feel sick or spread but has the ability to become an infection and affect an individual and others. It is curable before becoming an infection.
  • ACTIVE TB: in this stage, the germs are multiplying and producing signs and symptoms of the disease and could spread it to others.and  most people show active TB from reactivation of latent TB., also called TB disease.


As TB is slow-growing and obligate aerobe organism that give their symptoms 18-20 hours after activation and spread that part of an organ which is highly oxygenated like lungs and kidney etc. you’ll see symptoms like;

  • A bad and hard cough longer than three weeks.
  • Loss of appetite and weight.
  • Blood in mucus when you cough.
  • Laziness, weakness and fatigue.
  • continuous fever.
  • Sweating at night 
  • Pain in the chest and neck( sore throat).
  • Chills 

other clinical findings are ;

  • Scrofula (cervical lymphadenitis ) present as the swallow, non-tender lymph nodes.
  • Erythema nodosum present as tender nodules on the exterior surface of tibia and ulna.

If TB is affecting others parts of the body then you’ll see other symptoms like ;

  • Lower back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Urine with blood
  • Pain in joints
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain


 TB is a serious infection and people are at high risk to be infected are those who:

  • Who spent time with someone who has TB disease.
  • People come from TB epidemic countries.
  • Live or work in a place where a high rate of TB exists like homeless shelters, hostels, and prisons, etc.
  • Health care providers who take-cares TB patients.
  • Have HIV or AIDS that weakens your immune system.


  • Tuberculosis skin test in which five tuberculin units used to inject in the skin and mark that area and the result will be found after 48-72 hours. It is also called the Mantoux test and preferred in children under five years. If the bump size increases from its marked area, then it has a positive disease.
  • AFB TEST used to diagnose active TB. It is of 2 types ;
  1. AFB smear is the test in which a sample is smeared on a glass slide and used with a microscope to see, and it will show results in 1-2 days but not give an authentic diagnosis.
  2. AFB culture test in which a sample is taken to a special environment that enhances the growth of bacteria. It is an authenticate diagnosis of active TB and results come in 6-8 weeks.
  • TB Blood Test is also called Interferon Gamma Release Assay or IGRA is used to find TB germs in your body. 
  • Chest radiography is an imaging test that is used to detect chest abnormalities like lesions may appear in lungs with different size, shape, density, and cavitation.


Many active medications are available today and cure chances are high if you treat yourself on time. Medication treatment is longer in duration for TB. Latent TB treat with 1-2 medication in months but for active TB treatment, takes 6-9 months and type of drug and length of duration depends on age and health .some usually taken medicines are;

  • Isoniazid works like an inhibitor of cell membrane function.
  • Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) works like inhibitors of nucleic acid function or synthesis.
  • Ethambutol (Myambutol) is bacteriostatic in nature used to inhibit the synthesis of the mycobacterial cell wall.
  • Pyrazinamide also a bacteriostatic and mechanism, is unclear.

These all drugs use as 1st line choices for TB patients, .but if you have drug-resistant TB, then a combination of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones and injectable amikacin or capreomycin (capstan), used for 20-30 months.but can be resistant if you don’t take medication on time.


TB can be curable if you have a hygienic immune system, but a weak immune system from other diseases might not be able to cure active TB disease other diseases are;

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Cancer of the head or cervical
  • Malnutrition
  • If you recently have done organ transplant and taking its medication

Some complications which are caused by TB disease are; hemoptysis, pneumothorax, bronchiectasis, broncholithiasis, septic shock, pot disease and TB to other parts of the body.


Are AFB tests and TB skin tests dangerous?

No, gently sputum for AFB test taken into the container by cough mechanism, but little bleeding and sore throat may be seen if a specimen is taken by bronchoscopy. 

Is TB curable?

Yes, although rare, it is curable if you take medicines on time, not to go on work or studies until your doctor says, avoid close contact with anyone and not to harm others by using tissues when you cough, sneeze and laugh.

Can TB affect other parts of the organ ?

Yes, as TB spreads person to person it also spreads to other parts of the body through blood, where oxygen consumption is highly likely in the Apical region of lungs, Renal parenchyma and growing ends of the bone.

How does TB enter our bodies?

Pulmonary TB enters your body usually by nose and bloodstream, but intestinal TB enters the body by mouth or ingestion of unboiled farm milk and sputum. 

Should we isolate the TB patient?

Yes, we should isolate the patient until your doctor doesn’t allow you to go home or tell you that your organism is unspreadable.


While you are treating for active TB disease, see your doctor regularly, take medicine on time and make sure your treatment is working. TB can be fatal but curable too, try to learn and recognize the symptoms of TB disease and aware more people about it.