Chest Diseases


Tuberculosis (TB):
It is a chronic, contagious disease that a person catches as a result of infection with a bacterium called (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), which usually settles in the lungs but can also harm other parts of the body. Tuberculosis has two types when it infects a person:
  • Latent tuberculosis: Where the person is a carrier of the bacteria, as the bacteria remain dormant inside the body without showing any symptoms; Because of the body's resistance to it, the person is not contagious and cannot spread the infection to others, but the latent infection may turn into the active disease.
  • Active tuberculosis: Where the person is infected with active TB bacteria, and the person shows symptoms of infection, and the infection can be transmitted to others when the infected person stays in contact with him for a long period of time. Symptoms also appear several weeks after infection, and may not appear until months or years later.
Methods of Transmission:
The bacteria spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The infection can be contracted through breathing. It also spreads more easily in enclosed spaces for a long period of time. A person may also become infected with tuberculosis by eating or drinking a product infected with tuberculosis (such as drinking unpasteurized milk from an animal infected with tuberculosis) but it is rare.

Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Some people become ill with TB soon after infection (within weeks) before their immune system can fight off the TB bacteria, and other people may become ill years later when their immune system becomes weak for another reason.

Latent TB is usually asymptomatic, and its symptoms depend on where in the body the TB bacteria grow. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary TB), causing symptoms such as:
  • A cough that persists for 3 weeks or more is often the first symptom of active tuberculosis and may be accompanied by phlegm with the presence of blood.
  • Pain in chest
  • High temperature (fever).
  • Night sweats.
  • Feeling unwell.
  • Weight loss.
  • Chest pain.
  • Anorexia.
When to see a doctor:
When there is a fever, unexplained weight loss, severe night sweats, or a persistent cough, these are often symptoms of tuberculosis, but can also be caused by other medical problems.

Risk factors:
  • Direct contact with tuberculosis patients without using personal protective equipment (such as a mask).
  • Working in some professions that expose the person to infection.
  • Immigration from areas with high rates of tuberculosis
  • Suffering from chronic diseases (such as diabetes or kidney disease).
  • Drug Addiction.
  • Getting older.
  • Malnutrition.
  • HIV infection.
  • Taking immunosuppressive medications.
  • Pain in the spine.
  • Meningitis.
  • Liver and kidney problems.
  • Heart disorders.
The infected person is treated with a group of special antibiotics for a period that may extend to six months. The patient is completely cured if he adheres to the instructions of the treating physician. The treatment period varies depending on the type of tuberculosis and the affected part of the body.

  • Taking the vaccine for infants and children.
  • Do not be in contact with tuberculosis patients without using personal protective measures.
  • Stay away from crowded places.
  • Pay attention to balanced nutrition.
  • Consult a doctor as soon as you feel unwell.
Instructions for tuberculosis patients:
When infected with tuberculosis, the patient remains infectious for approximately two to three weeks of treatment, so the patient must:
  • Follow the instructions for taking the medication as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Cover the mouth with a tissue when coughing, sneezing, or laughing, and throw the tissue into a closed bag and dispose of it away.
  • Wear a mask when walking around or being with other people.
  • Carefully dispose of used tools in a plastic bag.
  • Open the windows to ventilate the room and ensure fresh air enters.
  • Avoid sleeping in a shared room with others.
  • Avoid going to work or school until the doctor allows it.
Last Update : 06 November 2023 11:30 AM
Reading times :