Tuberculosis: Symptoms And Causes

Updated on 12 July 2022

Tuberculosis: Symptoms and Causes

Tuberculosis commonly known as TB is a serious lung disease. It is a bacterial infection that spreads from an infectious person to a healthy person through infected droplets via sneezing and coughing. 

The disease was once very rare but it began to increase starting in 1985 with the rise in HIV AIDS cases (this was a major cause because the infected person became immunocompromised which leads to decreased fighting ability of the body against TB-causing bacteria).

Most widely used drugs for TB have now seen resistance in the majority of TB strains thus, infected people may be given a combination of doses to prevent antibiotic resistance. An infected person is usually not contagious after 3 weeks of continuous medications.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis

Our bodies have the ability to shield the TB-causing bacteria. Our bodies have an immune system which can detect them and prevent us from catching the illness. Thus, doctors have classified TB into two depending on the symptoms of tuberculosis:

  1. Latent Tuberculosis: In this case, the person is infected with TB but has no symptoms whatsoever. This variant is also known as TB infection or inactive TB. This is not contagious by nature but its treatment is important because it can convert into Active TB at any later stage.

  2. Active Tuberculosis: This variant shows symptoms and can make you sick. This is also known as TB disease. This can spread to others through droplets in the air. It can occur after several weeks and even after several years after the person is infected with TB-causing bacteria!  

Some of the symptoms and signs of TB include:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Night sweats

  • Extreme exhaustion

  • Chest pain

  • Pain with coughing and breathing

  • Persistent cough for 3 weeks or more

  • Chills

  • Fever

  • Unintentional or unwanted weight loss

  • Coughing up mucus or blood 

Treatment for tuberculosis by a TB specialist doctor in Hyderabad is very important because it can affect other organs of the body like the brain, spine or kidney.

Causes of Tuberculosis

We often don’t realize that we release micro droplets into the air whenever we talk, cough or sneeze. These microdroplets become the carrier for TB-causing germs. When an infected person with active TB laughs, talks, sings, coughs or sneezes, he/she releases the TB-causing bacteria along with the microdroplets in the air. 

Although TB is easy to spread but is difficult to catch; there can be a few factors which can allow the spread of TB easily like:

  • Compromised Immunity

  • Using IV drugs

  • Travelling to areas or living in areas with higher than usual tuberculosis rates

  • Consuming alcohol in large quantities

  • Living with an infected person

  • Working in areas that are poorly ventilated and highly crowded like psychiatric hospitals, prisons, nursing homes etc


It generally takes a few weeks of medications before you are not contagious to people anymore. Thus, the infected person must take a few preventive measures to stop spreading the disease among loved ones. Some of the preventive measures one can undertake are as follows:

  • Use face masks: The risk of transmission reduces manifold just by wearing a face mask around people for at least 3 weeks after the person is diagnosed with active TB. 

  • Proper room ventilation: TB-causing germs spread very easily in areas where ventilation is not good. One can always use a fan to blow the air of the room outdoors through doors or windows.

  • Cover the mouth: One must always use a tissue to cover the mouth while coughing, talking, sneezing etc. The used tissue must be then sealed away in a  ziplock bag and later discarded.

  • Stay at home: Avoid contact with people at least during the first few weeks of the active diagnosis. 

Tuberculosis can be managed with proper medication and precautions. It is prudent to follow the safety guidelines and avoid spreading the disease.

CARE Hospitals is acknowledged as the best hospital for TB treatment in Hyderabad. We have top TB specialist doctor in Hyderabad who are specialized in diagnosing, evaluating, and treating tuberculosis and other respiratory conditions.





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