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Tuberculosis (TB) <h2 class="sectHeading">Causes and symptoms of TB</h2><p>TB is spread from person to person. When an infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks, tiny droplets containing the TB bacteria are spread into the surrounding air. If you inhale that air, you can breathe in these droplets and may get infected.</p><p> <b>Everyone is at risk but you are more at risk if:</b></p><ul><li>you are <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Hiv-and-aids">HIV-positive</a>;</li><li>you are malnourished (poor diet);</li><li>you live in an overcrowded and/or poorly ventilated household (or public institution; e.g. prison);</li><li>you live in poor environmental conditions such as an overcrowded informal settlement;</li><li>your immune system is weak due to preexisting diseases (e.g. diabetes mellitus, cancer) or medications (e.g. steroid treatment and chemotherapy); or</li><li>you smoke or abuse drugs or alcohol.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p>The elderly, as well as babies and children under five years of age, are especially vulnerable to TB infection.</p></div></div> </span> <p> <b>Symptoms of pulmonary (lung) TB include:</b></p><ul><li>a bad cough for longer than two weeks – either dry, yellow or green mucus and in some cases bloody mucus;</li><li>unexplained weight loss (more than 1.5kg in one month);</li><li>fatigue (tiredness);</li><li>shortness of breath;</li><li>a fever for more than two weeks;</li><li>night sweats; and</li><li>lack of appetite.</li></ul><p> <em>(Not all of these are always present in someone with TB)</em></p><p>Download our Symptoms of TB poster below and share it with your family, school or community centre. </p> <span> <div class="infographic bg-font-adjust-bg">​​​​​​​​​ <figure> <img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Inline%20Images/Health%20Symptoms%20TB%20-%20Thumbnail.jpg" /></figure> <figcaption> <p> <span class="infoGraphicSpan">PDF<br>​​<strong>SYMPTOMS OF TB</strong></span></p> <a title="Symptoms of TB" class="btn dark-blue" href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Health%20Symptoms%20TB%20-%20Poster.pdf" target="_blank"><i class="icon download"></i>Download PDF</a> </figcaption> </div></span> <p>TB meningitis is a serious illness in children and can be deadly. If your child displays any of the following symptoms, take him/her to the clinic immediately:</p><ul><li>Severe headache, especially when accompanied by vomiting.</li><li>Drowsiness and irritability.</li><li>Convulsions.</li></ul><p>Find a <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Local%20and%20communities/See-all-City-facilities/Our-service-facilities/Clinics%20and%20healthcare%20facilities">primary healthcare clinic in your area</a>.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Preventing TB </h2><p> <b>TB in babies and children:</b><br>Babies should be immunised with the BCG vaccine. This vaccine is available for free at all birthing units. BCG does not necessarily stop TB but it does prevent more serious forms of the disease (like TB meningitis).​</p><p>Babies and children under five years will need to be given TB prophylaxis (a medication called isoniazid) to prevent TB if they are exposed to someone with TB.</p><p> <b>If you have TB, you should:</b> </p><ul><li>cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze;</li><li>put your used tissue in the rubbish bin - if you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow;</li><li>cover your mouth and nose with a mask or scarf in crowded spaces (e.g. taxis, classrooms) and in houses with poor ventilation;</li><li>avoid spitting on the ground in public or in your home; and</li><li>keep all windows and doors open as fresh, moving air lowers the risk of TB being passed on.</li></ul><p> <b>If you live or work with someone with TB, you should:</b></p><ul><li>help that person complete the full treatment - the risk of someone passing on TB if on effective treatment is very low;</li><li>keep all windows and doors open as this lowers the risk of TB being passed on; and</li><li>go to your nearest clinic for TB screening if you develop any symptoms of TB.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info remember"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Remember</h4><p> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/General-health/Staying-healthy">Staying healthy</a> is important. A healthy immune system helps fight disease.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Treating TB</h2><ul><li>TB is curable, even if you are <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Hiv-and-aids">HIV positive</a> - the sooner you are diagnosed, the better.</li><li>TB testing and treatment is free at all local government clinics (excluding private clinics).</li><li>Treatment lasts six months (for the “usual” drug sensitive TB).</li><li>TB can only be reliably cured if you complete your treatment.</li><li>People who stop treatment prematurely are at risk of relapsing.</li></ul><p> <i>[Source: <a href="https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/health" target="_blank">Western Cape Government Department of Health<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>]</i> </p><h2 class="sectHeading">Find a treatment centre</h2><p>Both the City and the Western Cape Government manage health facilities in Cape Town.</p><p> All <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Local%20and%20communities/See-all-City-facilities/Our-service-facilities/Clinics%20and%20healthcare%20facilities">City Health facilities</a> provide TB treatments, as well as some Western Cape Government facilities, which you can find in their <a href="https://www.westerncape.gov.za/directories/facilities/944" target="_blank">facilities directory.<i class="icon link-external"></i></a></p>GP0|#aedff2a5-67f7-47da-82d6-92e4905e07b8;L0|#0aedff2a5-67f7-47da-82d6-92e4905e07b8|TB;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#4d9ccd12-a383-4753-97d8-71d13417b782;GPP|#36dcb5fe-6bfc-4ae9-92d7-8bd08d1f6414;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752;GP0|#fdc6c1f2-2ebc-437d-88b8-b91eafdf0199;L0|#0fdc6c1f2-2ebc-437d-88b8-b91eafdf0199|TB;GPP|#d65ab879-2884-426b-a380-7b8f9433c812;GPP|#090e430c-3809-42d5-a80b-caea93b2beaf;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711Learn all about TB in Cape Town, what you can do to prevent being at risk, and where to go for treatment.

 

 

Health: TB Symptoms Poster732350GP0|#591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6;L0|#0591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6|Poster;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2015-12-31T22:00:00Z

 

 

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