1. What is tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that commonly affects the lungs. It may affect other parts of the body also.It is commonly known as TB and is contagious. It spreads from person to person through the air. Tuberculosis is preventable and curable.
2. What causes tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis.This bacteria spreads from one person to another via tiny droplets released into air when a person having TB coughs, spits, or sneezes. Inhaling just a few of these germs causes infection.
3. Do I need to quit smoking if i have tuberculosis?
Yes. Smoking not only increases the risk of contracting TB but, it also increases the risk of recurrent TB. Smoking negatively influences the response to TB treatment and slows down healing as well. Regular smokers are twice as likely to develop recurrent TB.
4. How is this condition diagnosed?
Tuberculosis can be diagnosed using two types of tests, namely, TB skin test (mantoux test) and TB blood test. These are conducted to detect if TB bacteria is present in the body. In addition to these tests, chest X-ray and sputum sample are used for confirming whether a person is suffering from TB disease.
5. Why does the doctor insist on completing the therapy, even when I don't experience any symptoms?
It is essential that patients who suffer from tuberculosis continue taking the medicines exactly as prescribed. Completing the whole course of antibiotics is crucial for complete cure. After taking medications for two weeks, most patients feel better and are no longer infected. Stopping the therapy mid-way or skipping a dose will result in the infection becoming resistant to antibiotics.