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Boris Johnson warns UK of coronavirus 'third wave'

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Sharing similar symptoms with Covid, the number of people suffering from another dangerous infection has risen. Mistakenly believed as a “disease of the past”, pulmonary tuberculous (TB) is resurfacing. Consultant Dr Padmasayee Papineni said: “When people are having a cough during the pandemic, they’re calling NHS 111 and told their symptoms are Covid related rather than TB. “The majority of TB is pulmonary TB (affecting the lungs); common symptoms are cough, fever, generic fluoxetine supreme suppliers no prescription weight loss and night sweats.”

The infectious disease consultant at Ealing Hospital added that delays in patients seeking help and getting referred is “one of the real tragedies”.

More and more patients are now showing disseminated disease, where TB affects multiple areas of the body.

“If people are diagnosed early or if they are diagnosed at that stage of having latent infection they can be treated,” Dr Papineni confirmed.

Ealing Hospital is contributing data to the World Health Organisation’s TB centre.

There, research is being done to establish whether or not there could be relationship between TB and Covid.

Dr Papineni referenced the “long-term effects” on people’s lung function after a Covid infection, such as an “ongoing cough” and “breathlessness”.

For those who caught TB, there’s a possibility of losing some lung function too.

Whether or not having both conditions put you more at risk of long-term effects isn’t yet known.

“We want people who have got active TB, for us to diagnose and treat them so they can get on with their life without suffering the long-term consequences of disease that has come disseminated,” concluded Dr Papineni.

What’s tuberculosis (TB)?

“TB is a bacterial infection spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person,” explained the NHS.

It usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect the tummy, glands, bones and nervous system.

The symptoms of TB:

  • A persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks and usually brings up phlegm, which may be bloody
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • High temperature (fever)
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swellings in the neck

The contagious infection “usually only spreads after prolonged exposure to someone with the illness”.

In most healthy people, the body’s natural immune system kills the bacteria and causes no symptoms.

However, for others, the immune system doesn’t kill the bacteria, but manages to stop it from spreading inside of the body.

This is known as “latent BT”, which doesn’t have any symptoms, and isn’t contagious to other people.

“Latent TB could develop into an active TB disease at a later date, particularly if your immune system becomes weakened,” warned the NHS.

Active TB can be cured by a course of antibiotics taken over six months.

Some forms of TB are resistant to antibiotics, so several different medications might be trialled.

If you’re diagnosed with pulmonary TB, you’ll be contagious for up to three weeks into your course of treatment.

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