Tuberculosis(TB) Stages & Survival Rate: Is it contagious?

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Dr. Preeti Sharma

Tuberculosis(TB) Stages & Survival Rate: Is it contagious?

In this video SimpliHealth expert Pulmonologist Dr. Preeti Sharma is talking about Tuberculosis(TB) Stages & Survival Rate. Also she is answering some very common questions that people usually ask like:

  • Is TB contagious?
  • Stages of Tuberculosis

Stages of Tuberculosis

There are stages of TB. For example, when you contact a patient who has active TB, they may spread many TB bacteria , which is called exposure by us. After being exposed to TB bacteria, it is not necessary that you’ll have the same type of TB. Almost 92-95 percent of people with latent tubercular infection, also called the LTBI, are in the second stage of TB. What happened in this is that you have inhaled TB bacilli, but they are in a dormant stage, and there is the formation of cone focus in the lungs. So there is the production of cells by the body’s immune system, which helps fight the bacteria. 

This infection stays latent, and there are no symptoms, and neither can you transmit this infection to anyone. So this is the second stage, called the latent stage.Among them, 5% of patients may have an active disease called active tuberculosis. 

Why does TB happen? 

Because the people who are immunocompromised; won’t be unable to fight against this infection in these cases; this may change into active tuberculosis, which is called the third stage of TB. During latent infection, if your immunity is compromised or you are on some specific drugs, such as immunosuppressants like CKD patients,  kidney patients or those on dialysis, or those on immunosuppressants after organic transplant, or HIV infected people or in IV drug abusers. If these patients have a latent focus in the body, it may lead to an active infection called secondary tuberculosis, which can happen later on at any stage of life.

What happens if you have TB? 

When we have TB, we have the usual symptoms, but we tend to ignore them- like loss of appetite, gradual loss of weight, or having light fever-like night sweats at night. So if we ignore these symptoms, they start their process, and start multiplying inside the body. If the patient comes to us, experts can only identify them; otherwise, it might lead to dangerous conditions. 

Tuberculosis Survival Rate or What is the survival rate of TB patients?

If one has TB and experts start the adequate treatment timely, it is entirely curable. But it is essential to say how much the lung is infected when the patient has come to us and has completed his medicine course. It is entirely curable if the patient completes its medicines adequately, which is six months of treatment. If the patient comes late to us, lungs are affected adversely, or it has converted into resistant TB. There is a chance of mortality. So what happens is gradual there is significant involvement of lungs resulting in respiratory failure. Almost 40% of the hospitalized patients who come under respiratory failure may die due to TB. The second thing is that you have an HIV infection and are not taking treatment for this; they have increased chances of death because of TB. Without treatment, almost 45% of HIV-negative TB patients may die, but if you are HIV positive TB, there are hundred percent chances of death without taking any TB treatment.

Is tuberculosis contagious?

It is contagious, like if you are in a room, it spreads in the form of aerosols. 

How is it contagious?

So when we are breathing from either nose or mouth, the one who has active TB may spread aerosols in the room, spreading through aerosols. It doesn’t spread by touching, and if someone is sharing food but with aerosols if you are not wearing a mask, it spreads. So the TB patient should take care of themselves, take care of their diet and take the treatment adequately so that they are saved from its mortality because it is a curable disease.

Thank you.

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