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Recognize differences tuberculosis cough and common cough

Cough is a complaint that must have been experienced by everyone. Basically, coughing is the body's physiological mechanism to remove foreign objects from the respiratory tract, such as dust or mucus. However, you must be vigilant when you experience coughing continuously for several weeks, even in a matter of months. It could be that the cough you experience is not an ordinary cough, but coughs from tuberculosis (TB).

Disease that has a typical symptom of chronic cough is pulmonary tuberculosis. To distinguish between ordinary cough and tuberculosis cough caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli, it can be considered difficult. What can be used as a benchmark is the period of coughing. If a cough that you experience more than 3 weeks, you should be suspicious of the possibility of tuberculosis.

Coughing up on TB can last more than 3 weeks, usually with phlegm and blood. In addition, patients can also feel chest pain, shortness of breath, night sweats, weakness and lethargy, a fever that is not too high, decreased appetite which results in a shrinking body weight.

Although not all chronic coughs (coughs that occur more than 3 weeks) are tuberculosis, but you still need to be vigilant and immediately see a doctor. The doctor will usually suggest a examination of lung sputum and x-rays to establish a diagnosis of tuberculosis. The faster tuberculosis is detected, the more effective treatment will be given.

Causes of TB

TB is caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis. The following are things related to the mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria:

  • Transmitted by air. These bacteria can spread easily through the air that has been exposed to snot and saliva from patients with active TB disease.
  • Slowly transmitted. Although contagious, the transmission process is not as fast as in the case of flu. In this TB disease the transmission takes quite a long time so that sometimes many people do not know that there is a bacterium that causes tuberculosis in themselves but has not acted.

Risk factor

TB disease will be more at risk of contagious to people who often interact with them TB sufferers especially if the children often interact with them then the opportunity to contract TB will also be higher due to the immune system of children who have not been stable. There are some people who have risk factors for contracting tuberculosis, namely:

  • People who live in densely populated settlements and the environment is less clean or slum
  • Medical officers who often interact with TB patients
  • Older people or those who are children
  • People who have a low immune system such as people who suffer from HIV AIDS, diabetes, due to malnutrition and those who suffer from kidney failure.
  • People who use illegal drugs and alcohol.
  • People who are addicted to items that contain harmful substances to the body such as drugs, marijuana, cocaine and narcotics.


Besides tuberculosis, some of the diseases and causes below also cause chronic cough:

1. Allergy or asthma

Dust allergy, air pollution, cold, pollen, and cigarette smoke can trigger a long-standing cough, even shortness of breath. In asthma, this complaint can be accompanied by severe shortness of breath and wheezing. If not treated immediately, this condition can cause death.

2. Pertussis

Pertussis or also known as whooping cough or a hundred-day cough is Bordetella pertussis bacterial infection in the lungs that are dangerous and life-threatening. A cough that also lasts continuously has a characteristic sound loud and begins to take a deep breath through the mouth.

3. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

GERD is a condition when stomach acid rises into the esophagus. This rising stomach acid can drop into the lungs and cause a cough reflex.

4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

COPD is a disease that usually occurs over the age of 45 years, and most attacks men than women. Risk factors for this disease are smoking history and exposure to air pollution. In patients with COPD, there is quite a lot of mucus production in the airways, so this mucus stimulates persistent coughing.

5. Bronchitis

Infection or inflammation of the lungs can also cause persistent coughing. In addition to coughing and feeling of tightness in the chest, bronchitis also causes fever, chills, sore throat, and flu-like symptoms. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days. However, the cough can last for weeks.

6. Medications

One drug that can cause persistent cough side effects is the ACEI inhibitor class. Examples of these drugs are captopril which is used to lower blood pressure.

If you experience an unusual cough and find other symptoms mentioned above, see your doctor immediately because the cough you experience is coughing from TB or coughing due to other conditions or diseases. Early diagnosis can help you treat the disease appropriately and thoroughly.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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