One of the severe bacterial disease that mainly damage lungs is Tuberculosis or TB. It may also attack the other parts of the body such as spine, kidney and brain. The causative agent of the Tuberculosis (TB) is the Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

There are two types of conditions in this case, as sometimes even the infected person may not get sick throughout their life and some may show early signs of an infections. Therefore, it can be a latent TB infection (LTBI) or a TB disease (active TB).

Primary TB infection

The first and the foremost stage of an infection is this only, here the immune systems will recognize and captures the bacteria or germs and will try to destroy them. But the time, body’s immune system gets weakens or is unable to destroy the bacteria completely or even their remaining’s the germs will start multiplying.

In this condition, people may not have any severe symptoms but may feel tiredness, low fever and cough.

TB infection (latent TB infection)

In this condition a person may get infected with the TB bacteria in their body, however the symptoms may never get develops. This stage is been progressed after the primary infection. It has been found that numerous peoples carry the infectious bacteria in their body’s immune system but does not replicate and cause disease. Therefore, this is the condition where a person is said to be infected with TB but not with the active one.

There is no risk of passing the latent infection to some other persons, as the individual person who is infected may also not experience the symptoms and remains unaware of the disease. But there are certain exception, where a person with a latent infections may needs the medical treatment.

TB disease (active TB)

When the TB bacteria becomes active and the body’s immune system is so weak that it cant stop them from growing, so these bacteria (TB bacteria) are multiplying actively in the body and this condition is known as TB disease. The people suffering from the active TB are likely to spread the bacteria to the people they are in contact on daily basis or at higher frequency.

The person with the latent TB infection never develops the TB disease. However, few people may catch the the TB disease soon after after getting infected ( within week s) as their immune system was unable to recognize the bacteria and was not able to fight against that, resulting in the multiplication of the bacteria causing active TB. Even there are people who get sick after few years of infection, when their immune systems get weakens due to some or the other reasons.

People with the conditions such as HIV are more likely catch the disease at higher speed, as they have already weak immune system and so the risk of developing the active TB disease are more.

Latent TB Vs Active TB (TB disease)

A person having latent TBA person having TB disease (active TB)
SicknessDoes not feel sick. Usually feel sick.
Symptoms Has no symptoms.*fever.
*pain in chest.
*low appetite.
*cough that lasts for
more than 3 weeks.
*coughing up sputum or blood.
*weight loss.
*sweating at night.
*weakness or fatigue.
Risk of getting infected Unlikely to spread the disease.Chances of spreading the disease are high
Test *Skin test or blood test will reveal to have the positive TB infection.

*Will show the negative sputum smear and normal chest X-ray.
*Blood test and skin test report will be positive revealing an TB infection.

*Positive sputum culture or smear, abnormal chest X-report.
TreatmentMay require to take a treatment against the latent infection so that further it may not switch to the active TB. Proper treatment is needed to reduce the symptoms of the disease.

Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis

This is one of the condition in the Active TB disease, when the infection gets spreads from lungs to other parts of the body and growing and multiplying over their, resulting in weak immune system. The common active sites of the body where the risk of getting active TB are more includes:

  • Liver.
  • Skin.
  • Heart muscles.
  • Bones and joints.
  • Lymph Nodes.
  • Walls of blood vessels.
  • Kidney.
  • Fluid around the brain and their spinal cord.
  • Larynx or voice box.

The symptoms of the extrapulmonary TB are as follows, these also gets worsen with the progression in the infection.

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Night Sweats.
  • Cough; coughing mucus or even blood.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Tiredness.
  • Weight loss.
  • Pain near the site of infection.


If the person has been tested positive for the latent TB, it is suggested to take drugs against the chances of getting the TB disease. But if the person has already been diagnosed with an active TB disease, you need to take care of yourself with a step of preventing the spread to other person getting infected.

The treatment is for an year or for four, six or nine months course, where the medicines are provided as per the condition or severity of an infection.

Within first 2 to 3 weeks the infected person can pass the infected germs to others, and therefore it is advisable to follow few given steps, so that others might be not at risk.

  • Isolate at home.
  • Stay at home.
  • Avoid going to public places such as at work, educational institute’s, schools, etc.
  • Wear the face mask.
  • Ventilate your room.

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