What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
- TB is a lung disease caught by breathing in a germ that spreads in the air through coughing, sneezing and spitting.
- Without treatment, a person with TB disease will spread TB germs to 10 to 15 people every year.
- Drug resistant TB (DR-TB) is TB that does not improve with medication because the TB germ is stronger than standard TB medication. DR-TB can be cured, but it needs more medication and a longer time on treatment.
- The goal of treatment is to finish the full course of medication as instructed so that all TB germs are killed.
What can help you reach your goal for TB?
Take the full course of TB treatment.
TB can be cured if you take your medication correctly.
Test for HIV and treat it
It is common to get TB if you have HIV. Treating your HIV, will help cure your TB.
Avoid spreading TB.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Keep the windows open where possible.
- Check for TB among your family, friends and workmates.
- Cough into your elbow.
- Wearing a mask will decrease the spread of TB, especially before you start treatment and for the first few weeks of treatment.
Keep a check on your condition
Attend your check-ups regularly at the clinic.
Provide sputum samples to check your TB is responding to the treatment.
Expect your symptoms to get better. If you develop new symptoms or your symptoms get worse, report this promptly.
Take your medication as instructed
TB can be cured if you take your medication correctly. TB will become worse and perhaps drug resistant if you forget or stop medication.
- You need to take TB medication for 7 days a week until the course is complete (at least six months).
- Check with a nurse, doctor or pharmacist before using treatment from a shop or traditional healer – it may interfere with TB medication.
- Check the medication list to understand how your medication works and what side effects it might cause.
- If you have too much medication left over or are unsure how to take it, ask your healthcare worker.
Know when to seek healthcare
Visit the healthcare facility urgently today if you have any of the following:
- Are breathing too fast to speak properly
- Are coughing lots of blood
- Have a skin rash that also involves your mouth
- Have yellow skin and eyes
Make contact with your healthcare facility if:
- You run out of medication.
- You don’t know how to take your medication.
- You have an appointment for a check-up.
- You develop a side effect of your medication.