TB or tuberculosis is a disease caused by a bacterial infection of mycobacterium tuberculosis that attacks certain parts of the body. Most commonly affects the lungs so that it is further referred to as “pulmonary tuberculosis disease” or briefly “pulmonary TB”.
There are many types of TB disease such as tuberculosis gland, bone, intestine, and so on. But in this discussion we will focus on pulmonary tuberculosis disease more specifically related to the symptoms of pulmonary TB disease.
A person can get tuberculosis when inhaling small droplets in the air exhaled by someone who has TB disease when they cough, sneeze, laugh, or scream. TB germs can float in the air for several hours, so it can be inhaled even when the sick person is no longer in the room.
Although germs have been entered, not necessarily we will get TB disease, because in our body there is the immune system that protect us from TB. On the contrary, If it fails, then TB will infect and symptoms of TB disease will arise that will be discussed later. This condition is called “Active pulmonary TB”.
In people who have been exposed did not all show typical pulmonary tuberculosis symptoms, because the germs may not be active aka sleep. This condition is called “latent pulmonary TB” which can not be transmitted to others, but the germs are still nesting.
What are the Symptoms of Pulmonary TB?
We agree that the symptoms are those with active pulmonary disease. But remember, there are other disease conditions whose symptoms are similar to tuberculosis, such as pneumonia and lung cancer.
Symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis begin gradually over a period of weekly or monthly. At first you may experience one or two mild symptoms that do not even realize you are having tuberculosis.
Furthermore, the following 7 typical symptoms of pulmonary TB disease:
- The cough lasts a long time, averaging over 3 weeks.
- Coughing up thick, cloudy, and sometimes bloody phlegm.
- A slight fever sometimes shivers.
- Night sweats.
- Unexplained loss of appetite and weight loss.
- Shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Fatigue and weakness.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is necessary to have further examination by your doctor. In addition to physical examination and medical interviews, the doctor will also conduct a series of investigations whether you really get TB disease.
Some of the investigations required to establish the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis include the following:
- Sputum Inspection. Sputum taken at least three times, first time (time), morning sputum, and sputum at the next visit. Known as S-P-S (in the morning-time). Sputum will be examined under a microscope to see whether or not there is a mycobacterium tuberculosis present.
- Rontgen Examination. X-ray or chest x-rays taken to see the condition of the lungs, here also can be distinguished whether TB is active or not.
- Skin Examination. Known as tuberculin test, performed by injecting the substance into the skin and then seen the results by the doctor after 3 days. Usually performed to diagnose tuberculosis in Children.
- When the result is certain that the tuberculosis is infected, then treatment will begin which generally use the drug package for 6 months without breaking. With proper treatment and patient compliance, pulmonary TB disease can be cured well. However, if the results are negative, then take precautions.
How To Prevent Pulmonary Tuberculosis?
You can avoid tuberculosis by keeping a distance or staying away from people who have this disease. Sometimes this is impossible to do when you can work in a hospital, clinic, care facility, prison, or homeless shelter where many people are affected by tuberculosis. Or maybe you are currently treating a friend or family member who has the disease.
Here are tips to prevent TB in such situations:
- Avoid chatting in a closed room with someone who has TB disease.
- Arrange the circulation of the room so that air in and out smoothly.
- Using a mask when close contact is inevitable.
Anyone who has symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis as we have mentioned above, it should immediately conduct an examination to be immediately identified and quickly addressed.