Worried about Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection that most commonly affects the lungs.  It is spread through airdroplets released when a person with active tuberculosis coughs or sneezes, similar to how a cold or the flu is spread.  Different than the common cold or flu, the bacteria grows very slowly and is fairly difficult to catch, so you typically have to spend a lot of time around a person who has TB to catch it. People at most risk are very close contacts such as family members, co-workers, or very close friends.  

Doctors make distinctions between two types of TB:  Latent and Active.

You should see your healthcare provider if you have any of the above symptoms or have known contact with someone who has tuberculosis.  TB is detected by a doctors evaluation followed by a skin test or a blood test and a chest xray.  Higher risk individuals will be tested with microscopic examination and cultures of their sputum.  

While difficult to treat, TB can be treated with a long course of antibiotics, so while it is a serious infection, the vast majority of patients will be completely cured!


Author
Dr. Ben Stahl Graduating from Boerne High School, Dr. Stahl attended Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor of science in Biomedical Science, graduating with honors. Upon completion of medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Dr. Stahl entered residency training in the specialty of Family Medicine at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program, where he was honored to have been elected Chief Resident. He is now thrilled to be in private practice in his hometown of Boerne, TX.

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