Latent Tuberculosis

Friday, August 22, 2014

People with latent tuberculosis infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. They are infected with TB, but do not have the disease. Dr. Edward Hill discusses latent tuberculosis in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Tuberculosis is a lung disease caused by a germ. Latent TB means a person is infected with the germ, but they are not sick. Some people with latent TB can get sick later in life. This is called active TB.

People who have active TB spread the germ when they cough or sneeze. Other people get infected when they breathe it in. One of these things can happen when a person breathes in the TB germ:

Their immune system completely destroys the germ.

Their immune system does not destroy the germ, but they do not get sick. These people will have latent TB.

They get sick and have active TB.

People with latent TB do not have symptoms. Your doctor will check to see if you have any symptoms of active TB. These include coughing for more than three weeks, fever, coughing up blood, weight loss and sweating at night.

People with latent tuberculosis have to take medicines so that they wont get active TB later in life.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.