Tuberculosis: Are you at risk?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that can attack any part of the body. Typically, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause TB, attack the lungs. If not treated properly, the disease can be fatal.

Cases of tuberculosis have become less frequent since the invention of drugs to treat the disease. Patients must take a series of medicines over the course of at least 6 months. However, tuberculosis can reside in individuals without being active. Latent tuberculosis does not make an individual sick, but her or she can become sick if TB disease becomes active.

tuberculosis risk hand over mouth What is the difference between Latent TB and Active TB?

Latent TB infection happens when people breathe in TB bacteria, but the body keeps the bacteria from growing. There are no symptoms for latent TB, and people with it are not infectious. But, latent TB becomes TB disease when the TB bacteria become active in the system and spread. People may develop TB disease if their immune system is weak or cannot fight off the bacteria. People with weaker immune systems are at higher risk for getting sick with TB disease. The presence of HIV infection increases the risk of developing TB disease.

Testing for Latent TB and Active TB

 If a person has been infected with TB, the risk for developing TB disease increases if the person:

  • has recently been infected with TB bacteria

  • has HIV

  • has other health concerns that weaken the immune system

  • abuses alcohol or drugs

TB tests can detect the presence of TB bacteria.  At  ARCpoint Labs, we offer reliable and convenient tests for TB infection. Contact us to schedule your test.

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