What causes tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by small germs called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The germs are present in large numbers in the affected organ of the patient’s body when a diseased person coughs or sneezes, he/she throws out the germs into the air, which may be then inhaled by another person. When he/she breathless. This is how TB spreads from person to person.

What happens next?

These germs usually lodge in the lungs, where initially they cause a small wound. But, if no diagnosed and treated at this stage, these germs destroy small parts of the lung tissue and lead to the formation of cavities.

What are the Complaints the patient could have?

We could have one or more of the following:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Tiredness
  • Cough with sputum esp. for 2 weeks or more
  • Blood in sputum
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness

If any of these symptoms persist, you have to consult your doctor immediately, it raises the suspicion of TB. The symptoms would be different in each case. But common complaints would be fever, loss of appetite and loss of weight.

Where else can TB occur?
The lungs are the commonest site of TB. But, this disease could affect other organs like….

What are the important features of TB treatment?

  1. TB is completely curable.
  2. There are very effective and safe drugs for TB treatment.
  3. These effective and essential drugs for TB are:
    • Rifampicin
    • Isoniazid
    • Pyrazinamide
    • Ethambutol
    • Streptomycin
  4. These drugs make the person well, symptoms-free within 1 to 2 weeks. However, it is essential to continue treatment for a prolonged duration. If treatment is not taken fully, the disease may flare up again, leading to symptoms reappearing.