Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is an airborne disease which usually affects the lungs but may also affect other organs, like the spine, central nervous system, abdomen, genitourinary tract and bones.
Healthy individuals, when exposed to TB develop a latent/dormant infection with no symptoms. Any illness which suppresses the immune system, like HIV can cause an activation of the latent infection to give active tuberculosis with symptoms such as:
- Weight loss/anorexia
- Night sweats
- Haemoptysis (coughing up of blood or blood stained mucus)
- Chest pain
TB is treatable and the World TB Day, is an opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide and the status of TB prevention and control efforts. WHO’s End TB Strategy envisions a world free of TB with zero deaths, disease and suffering.
Protect yourself and your family by getting tested for HIV. Visit your doctor if you have been coughing for more than 3 weeks or have had contact with an adult with chronic cough.