Can I die from Tuberculosis?

Is tuberculosis deadly?

Tuberculosis, if not treated promptly, can be fatal especially for the ones infected with HIV. Active conditions that go untreated usually affect, but the infection can spread to other parts of the body. Tuberculosis complications include back problems, joint damage, meningitis, liver or kidney problems, and heart problems. In severe cases, it could result in respiratory failure.

World Health Organisation states that Tuberculosis can lead to 1.6 million deaths in 2021. Tuberculosis, also known as TB disease, is highly contagious and can be fatal. This is because the infection can live in your body for years without causing symptoms. This is known as a latent or inactive TB infection. Inactive tuberculosis can reactivate at any time, making you sick and spreading to others. Anyone can get tuberculosis, but some people are more vulnerable than others, especially the individuals diagnosed with HIV. As a result, one should be aware of the risks of tuberculosis and when to seek treatment from a healthcare provider. Hence, this article discusses the main symptoms of active tuberculosis, when TB-related complications can be fatal, and the life expectancy of people who have received active tuberculosis treatment.

What symptoms indicate active tuberculosis? 

Active tuberculosis disease makes people sick and, in most cases, spreads to others. It can happen weeks or years after a TB infection. The most common symptoms include fever, coughing for three weeks or more, coughing up blood or mucus, chest pain or pain with breathing or coughing, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, sweating at night, shivers, and a reduced appetite.
Tuberculosis can also harm other organs, including the kidneys, spine, and brain. When TB affects organs other than your lungs, the signs and symptoms vary. Tuberculosis of the spine, for example, can cause back pain, whereas tuberculosis of the kidneys can cause blood in your urine.

When does tuberculosis cause death? 

Tuberculosis can be fatal if not treated. The untreated active disease typically affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Complications of tuberculosis include spinal pain, joint damage, meningitis, liver or kidney disorders, heart problems and cancer. Chronic respiratory failure is one of the most common causes of death in patients with late sequelae of pulmonary tuberculosis.

What is the life expectancy of people treated for active tuberculosis? 

Researchers discovered that people who have survived active tuberculosis disease through successful treatment may have a lower life expectancy than those who have a latent infection, with an estimated loss of 3 to 4 years of life. With this in mind, doctors advise treating a latent tuberculosis infection as soon as it is identified, before it progresses to active tuberculosis disease.

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