Friday, February 10, 2012

Tuberculosis was one of the most dreaded diseases of the 19th century and its making a comeback today. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this disease in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infection that is caused by certain bacteria. The bacteria are spread from person to person through small droplets in the air.

You can be infected with TB, but not have the disease. If you only have the infection, it is called latent TB infection. When you have symptoms, it is called active TB disease.

If you are infected, but do not have the disease, you wont have any symptoms. If you have the disease, you may have coughing that lasts longer than two to three weeks, fever, night sweats or weight loss. You may cough up blood. Without treatment, you can die from the disease.

There are medicines that treat TB. Your doctor can tell you about the benefits and length of treatment and possible side effects of the medicine.

If you have TB infection, but not the disease, you cant spread it to other people. But, your doctor will still treat you so that you dont get TB disease.

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