Tuberculosis is a dangerous illness that attacks the lungs (Pulmonary Tuberculosis or PTB) and weakens the body’s immune system. Those who suffer from it experience symptoms such as sudden weight loss, severe coughing that may contain blood, high fever, and more. Persons living with HIV are 20 to 30 times more vulnerable to Tuberculosis, which is why it remains to be the leading cause of death for this specific population.
Active and Latent Tuberculosis
Those who are heavily infected have a specific type of TB known as “active TB.” When the body’s immune system is not strong enough to fight the infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics for 6-8 months, depending on the severity. However, another type of TB that people need to know more about is the “sleeping” TB, also known as latent TB.
How Latent Tuberculosis Exists
Every person’s health condition is different. That can determine whether or not the person is strong enough to battle the bacteria with minor medical assistance. For some, this is possible, therefore their TB remains to be in an inactive state. There are no symptoms for latent TB and those who have it cannot pass the bacteria on to others as well. The only ways to detect latent TB are through blood test and TB skin test.
Treatment for Latent Tuberculosis
Does this mean that no treatment is needed? While patients with latent TB may be in a healthy state now, there is still a chance that the bacteria will ‘wake up’ and attack the body when it is in a much weaker state. This can happen when a person develops illnesses later on in life, such as diabetes and hypertension. In order to make sure the bacteria stays ‘asleep,’ doctors may prescribe one or two medicines for 3-6 months. Patients with latent TB need to get regular checkups and live a healthier lifestyle. This is to prevent the bacteria from attacking. For more information, schedule a consultation with our doctors at ManilaMed or call us at (02) 523-8131-65