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When to Seek Medical Care

If someone among your family or close associates is found to be sick with active TB, you should see your doctor and be tested for tuberculosis  .

  • The dangerous contact time is before treatment. However, once treatment with drugs starts, the sick person is noncontagious within a few weeks.
  • If you develop any side effects from medications — such as itching, change in color of skin, tiredness, or excessive fatigue—call your doctor immediately.
Next Steps

Prevention:  Pulmonary   or lung Tuberculosis is contagious

Treatment to prevent TB in a single person aims to kill walled-up germs that are doing no damage right now, but could break out years from now and become active.

  • If you should be treated to prevent sickness, your doctor usually prescribes a daily dose of isoniazid (also called INH), an inexpensive TB medicine.
  • You will take INH for up to a year, with periodic checkups to make sure you are taking it as prescribed and that it is not causing undesirable side effects.
  • Do not spit around or breathe / cough close to any person. Do not share same utensil with others for eating food or drinking fluids.

Treatment also can stop the spread of TB in large populations.

  • Tuberculosis vaccine, known as bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) may prevent the spread of tuberculosis and tuberculous meningitis in children, but the vaccine does not necessarily protect against pulmonary tuberculosis.
  • Health officials generally recommend the vaccine in countries or communities where the rate of new infection is greater than 1% per year.

You can expect to keep your job, to stay with your family, and to lead a normal life. However, you must take your medicine regularly to be sure of a cure and to prevent others from being infected.

  • With treatment, your chance of full recovery is very good.
  • Without treatment, the disease will progress and lead to disability and death.


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