Experts warn that a significant number of TB cases can manifest without coughing symptoms

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) While coughing is a major symptom of tuberculosis (TB), experts on Sunday said that it is important for people to recognise that many cases manifest without this symptom. As per experts, people need to watch for signs like unexplained weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, and prolonged fever instead. Additionally, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, and coughing up blood can indicate advanced stages of the disease.

“Vigilance in monitoring for these diverse symptoms is key to early detection and intervention. We must emphasise the importance of seeking medical attention promptly if any of these signs arise, especially in regions with high TB prevalence,” Dr Ranganatha R, Head – Department of Pulmonology and TB Lead, Narayana Health City, Bengaluru, told IANS.

A recent meta-analysis of 12 surveys (620,682 participants) from eight countries in Africa and four in Asia found that a majority of individuals with pulmonary TB did not report cough, and this was more common among women. “As clinicians, we have noticed that women often tend to present late and ignore cough or not report it. It is also equally important to note that TB, which does not affect the tissue of the lungs, represents a significant proportion of the disease and will not present with cough,” said Dr Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist and Epidemiologist, P. D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim.

A recent study published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases showed that 82.8 per cent of people with TB had no persistent cough, and 62.5 per cent had no cough at all. By raising awareness about the various presentations of TB, the experts said that timely diagnosis and treatment ultimately curb the spread of this infectious disease.


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