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|Pathway to the Lungs|
|Mycobacterium tuberculosis is inhaled through the mouth and nose and travels down into the lungs causing TB.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Close contact with a person infected with active TB
- Living in or traveling to an area where there are high rates of TB
- Working in certain occupations, such as farming, funeral homes, and healthcare
- Living or working in crowded, indoor conditions, such as prisons, hospitals, homeless shelters, or nursing homes
- Chronic diseases that weaken the immune system:
- Specific age groups—infants, young children, and elderly people are more susceptible
- Certain medications that weaken or suppress the immune system, such as chemotherapy drugs that treat cancer
- Severe cough that lasts more than two weeks
- Coughing up blood and mucus
- Pain in the chest
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of appetite
- Blood tests
- Skin test (PPD or Mantoux test)
- Chest x-ray
- Samples of your sputum
- Fluid or tissue tests, especially if the disease is not in the lungs
For Latent TB
For Active TB
- Follow occupational guidelines at your work place.
- Try to avoid contact with people who have active TB.
- Limit travel to areas with high rates of TB.
- Get regular skin testing.
- Take all antibiotic medication.
- Manage any chronic diseases as directed by your doctor.
- If you smoke, find out the best ways you can quit.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. That is two drinks per day for men, and one per day for women.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Talk with your doctor about the TB vaccine . It is not often used in the United States because the amount of protection is unclear.
- Stay at home
- Circulate air in your rooms
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing
- Consider wearing a surgical mask
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease http://www.niaid.nih.gov
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Hawkridge T, Mahomed H. Prospects for a new, safer and more effective TB vaccine. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2011 Mar;12(1):46-51.
Active tuberculosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated August 22, 2013. Accessed September 3, 2013.
Latent Tuberculosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated March 21, 2013, 2013. Accessed September 3, 2013.
Tuberculosis (TB). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/default.htm. Updated March 13, 2012. Accessed September 3, 2013.
12/16/2011DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Sterling T, Villarino E, Borisov A, et al. Three months of rifapentine and isoniazid for latent tuberculosis infection. N Engl J Med. 2011;365(23):2155.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013