• >1.8 billion worldwide are diagnosed with TB every year
  • TB can affect other parts of the body including spine, brain or kidneys
  • TB patients cough about 327 times per day before treatment

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about one-quarter of the world’s population (1.8 billion individuals) have tuberculosis (TB) every year. The NC Division of Public Health and Mecklenburg County Public Health are investigating two potential tuberculosis cases at UNC Charlotte.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that spread via close contact with an infected person by means of speaking, coughing or sneezing. If left untreated, the disease can be highly fatal. But, these days, it can be successfully treated with medication after diagnosis. It is important to identify early signs and symptoms of tuberculosis so as to get treated at the earliest.

A warning sign of TB: Cough that lasts for three or more weeks

Chronic cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer is a typical warning sign of tuberculosis. The cough might be dry without mucus or sometimes might bring up mucus with blood in it. Cough arises in TB patients as a result of the inflammatory response to mycobacterial pulmonary infection. A reduction in cough might represent an adequate response to treatment and a decreased risk of infection spread.

A 2016 study estimated that TB patients cough approximately 327 times per day before starting treatment.

A chronic cough might also be due to other health conditions including asthma, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), postnatal drip, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, heart failure, bronchiolitis, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and other reasons including smoking and the use of hypertension medications.

Other symptoms of TB include chest pain, pain with coughing or breathing, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, fever, and loss of appetite. TB can affect other parts of the body including the spine, brain or kidneys. When TB occurs outside the lungs, one might experience a different set of signs and symptoms according to the organ which is infected. For instance, TB of the spine might exhibit symptoms such as back pain and TB in the kidneys could cause blood in the urine.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends that individuals who might be at an increased risk of developing TB such as those with AIDS/HIV, those using IV drugs, working or living in areas where the disease is common and the ones exposed to people who are at risk of TB be routinely screened for latent TB infection.

simple cough could be sign of deadly lung cancer
simple cough could be sign of deadly lung cancer nastya_gepp - Pixabay