Right now the entire world is concerned with the emergence of a new virus, but there are still other illnesses to worry about. Tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs, but is actually bacterial in nature. Still, it is transmitted much the same way, via tiny droplets that float through the air on the wind of coughs and sneezes.
The incidence of tuberculosis infections has risen and fallen in recent years, but the good news is that we are in a relatively low period due to the implementation of better control programs. But since tuberculosis is difficult to treat, it’s important to recognize the signs just in case.
One of the trickier facets of tuberculosis is that you can remain free of symptoms for years after the initial infection. Stick with us to learn more about TB and how to protect yourself and your family.
Types of tuberculosis
Healthy people with no underlying conditions may breathe in TB germs but be protected from a full-blown infection by their immune system. In some cases, bacteria remain in the body in an inactive state that does not cause noticeable symptoms. This is called latent TB.
Latent TB is not contagious, but it has the potential to become active TB. This distinction means that the person will feel ill and can spread TB to others. The timeline from latent to active TB is different for everyone. You might become ill within weeks of contracting the bacteria, or it could be several years, if at all.