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Tuberculosis (TB) <h2 class="sectHeading">TB disease</h2><p>In some people, TB bacteria overcome the defences of the immune system and begin to multiply, resulting in TB disease. </p><h4>A person with TB disease:</h4><ul><li>Has active TB bacteria in their body</li><li>Usually feels sick </li><li>May have a positive sputum test</li><li>May have an abnormal chest x-ray</li><li>Needs treatment to treat TB disease</li></ul> <p>The symptoms of drug-susceptible TB and drug-resistant TB disease are the same and depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary TB). </p><h4>TB disease in the lungs may cause symptoms such as:</h4><ul><li>a bad cough: typically, (but not always) one which lasts longer than two weeks</li><li>coughing up sputum (secretions from deep inside the lungs)</li><li>pain in the chest</li><li>coughing up blood </li><li>shortness of breath<br></li></ul><h4>Other symptoms of TB disease include:</h4><ul><li>fatigue (tiredness)</li><li>unexplained weight loss </li><li>fever typically (but not always) lasting for more than two weeks</li><li>drenching night sweats</li><li>no appetite</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p> People with TB disease of the lungs are considered infectious and may spread TB bacteria to others. If you suspect that you or someone you know has TB disease, visit the nearest clinic for a TB test. If the test is positive for TB disease, medication will be given to treat it. TB disease is a serious condition and can lead to death if not treated.</p></div></div></span> <h4>Targeted universal testing </h4><p>Testing for TB has been implemented at all City clinics and Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness facilities. Targeted universal testing of TB refers to TB testing by sputum collection or digital chest x-ray of vulnerable groups of the population, regardless of TB symptoms.</p><h4>Who needs to be tested? </h4><ul><li>Children, adolescents, and adults with any one of the TB symptoms; </li><li>People who have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with TB or who received TB treatment in the past year, regardless of TB symptoms; </li><li>People who have been treated and completed TB treatment in the past two years , regardless of TB symptoms; </li><li>People living with HIV, regardless of symptoms. </li></ul><h4>What is a close or household contact?</h4><p>A close contact is a person who shared the same enclosed space, such as a social gathering, workspace, home or congregate setting with a person who has TB of the lungs for frequent or extended periods of time. </p><h4>TB disease of other parts of the body<br></h4><p>Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected. </p><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<br></li><li>Convulsions<br></li></ul><p> Drug resistant TB is confirmed with a laboratory test. </p> <span> <span> <div class="infographic bg-font-adjust-bg">​​​​​​​​​ <figure> <img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" /></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="" target="_blank"> <i class="icon download"></i>Download PDF</a> </figcaption> </div></span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Risk factors​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>Some people develop TB disease soon after becoming infected (within weeks) before their immune system can fight the TB bacteria. Other people may get sick years later when their immune system becomes weak for another reason. </p><h4>Persons at high risk for developing TB disease fall into two categories:</h4><ul><li>Persons who have been recently infected with TB bacteria</li><li>Persons with medical conditions that weaken the immune system<br></li></ul><h4>A person is more at risk of developing TB disease if:</h4><ul><li>they have had close contact with a person with infectious TB disease</li><li>they reside in overcrowded and/or poorly ventilated households or in institutions such as homeless shelters or prisons</li><li>they reside in areas with poor environmental conditions such as overcrowded informal settlements</li><li>they smoke or abuse drugs or alcohol</li><li>they are malnourished with low body weight</li><li>their immune system is weak due to pre-existing diseases (e.g. HIV, diabetes mellitus, cancer) or medications (e.g. steroid treatment and chemotherapy)</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> <h4>Drug resistance is more common in people who:</h4><ul><li>do not take their TB medicine regularly</li><li>do not complete the whole course of their TB medication </li><li>develop TB disease again, after having taken TB medication in the past</li><li>have acquired TB from someone who has drug-resistant TB disease<br></li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">How TB is spread</h2><p>Drug-sensitive TB and drug-resistant TB are spread in the same way. When a person with TB disease of the lungs coughs, sneezes or speaks, tiny droplets containing the TB bacteria are spread into the surrounding air. These bacteria can float in the air for several hours, depending on the environment. Persons who breathe in the air containing these TB bacteria can become infected. In some people, the bacteria in the lungs can begin to grow to cause TB disease.   </p><p>People with TB disease can spread TB and are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day. This includes family members, friends, and co-workers or school friends. Within the household, those that share the same room at night are at highest risk of breathing TB in and becoming infected. </p><h4>TB is NOT spread by:</h4><ul><li>shaking someone’s hand</li><li>sharing food or drink</li><li>touching bed linens or toilet seats</li><li>sharing toothbrushes<br></li><li>kissing<br></li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Latent TB infection</h2><p>People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. </p><h4>A person with latent TB infection:</h4><ul><li>has TB bacteria in his/her body that are alive, but inactive</li><li>does not feel sick</li><li>cannot spread TB bacteria to others </li><li>usually has a skin test or blood test result indicating TB infection</li><li>has a chest x-ray not suggestive of TB and a negative sputum test</li></ul><p> <strong>Persons with latent TB infection are not infectious.</strong></p><p>HIV positive people and young children need treatment for latent TB infection to prevent TB disease.<br></p><h2 class="sectHeading">Treating TB</h2><ul><li>The sooner a person is diagnosed and starts on treatment the better</li><li>Treatment for drug sensitive TB usually lasts six months </li><li>Treatment for drug resistant TB treatment is much longer and can be between 12-20 months </li><li>TB can only be reliably cured if a person completes their full course of treatment</li><li>People who stop treatment prematurely are at risk of developing TB disease again </li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Preventing TB</h2><h4>If you have TB, you can help prevent spreading it by:</h4><ul><li>taking all of your medication exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider</li><li>not missing any doses or stopping treatment early</li><li>telling your healthcare provider if you are having trouble taking the medications </li><li>covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze</li><li>putting 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>covering your mouth and nose with a mask or scarf in crowded spaces (e.g. taxis, classrooms) and in houses with poor ventilation</li><li>avoiding spitting on the ground in public or in your home</li><li>keeping all windows and doors open as fresh, moving air lowers the number of TB bacteria in the air and reduces the risk of transmitting TB</li><li>speaking to your healthcare provider if you plan to travel to make sure you have enough medicine to last while you are away</li></ul><h4>TB in people who are HIV positive:</h4><ul><li>People who are HIV positive are more likely to develop TB disease after TB infection than people who are HIV negative</li><li>All people who test HIV positive should be started on antiretroviral treatment as soon as possible</li><li>All people who test HIV positive should also be screened for TB and if they screen negative for TB they should be started on TB preventive therapy</li><li>If an HIV positive person has been in contact with someone who has recently been diagnosed with TB, they should report to the clinic as they may need to repeat the course of TB preventive treatment</li></ul><h4>TB in babies and children:</h4><ul><li>At birth, babies should be immunized with the BCG vaccine. This vaccine is available for free at all birthing units</li><li>BCG does not necessarily stop TB completely, but it does prevent more serious forms of the disease (like TB meningitis)</li><li>Babies and children under five years will need to be given medication (Isoniazid) known as TB preventive therapy to prevent them from developing TB if they are exposed to someone with TB disease</li><li>It is important to make sure babies and children complete a full course of TB preventive therapy to stop them from developing TB disease</li></ul><h4>If you live or work with someone with TB, you should:</h4><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 fresh, moving air lowers the number of TB bacteria in the air and reduces the risk of transmitting TB</li><li>go to your nearest clinic for TB screening if you develop any TB symptoms<br></li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info remember"> <br></i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Remember</h4><p> <a href="">Staying healthy</a> is important. A healthy immune system helps fight disease.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Find a TB treatment centre</h2><p> All <a href="">City Health facilities</a> provide free TB testing and treatment. Find a <a href="">primary healthcare clinic </a>in your area.</p><p>Provincial Government facilities also provide TB treatment. For a list of these facilities, view the <a href="" target="_blank">WCG 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.0



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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