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- Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:14 am
Dear Sirs / Madam,
I developed these symptoms in May 2007. But was not in my home country and I had no medical support. I was in Riga, Latvia.
For several weeks (3 weeks) blood tinged green sputum.
Then 1 night I had no sleep together with 6 weekly exercise work-outs could have lowered my immune system.
There was a severe illness worse than anything I ever had in my life.
symptoms: Night sweats (I wake up in the middle of the night with my pillow soaked in water). Fever. Breathing difficulties. I was coughing up lots of blood as hemorrhagic sputum, green sputum filled with blood.
Extra symptoms was I had CNS confussion problems.
After several days of these extreme symptoms I went for medical help. I said to the family doctor could it be Tuberculosis. She said No.
I demanded antibiotics and was given Amoxicillin + Clavulanic Acid. Within 1 day I was immediately better. The blood-sputum dissappeared and I made a near complete recovery in 1 day. All the symptoms went. Whatever bug it was, these antibiotics killed it.
However I still strongly suspect it was TB exposure as FACT is the city Riga has this problem. A much poorer country and many people do not seek medical help. So secondary TB with spread to the laryngeal cords allowing carriers to infect everyone is quite high in public transport. Plus I am unable to find in medical books anything else that can match these symptoms except for Sarcoidosis, but this does not involve coughing up blood.
I have had the BCG vaccine as a child so a PPD skin test is useless. Before I go to a pulmonary or infectious disease specialist, I would like to check first as I don't want to waste there time.
I don't know for sure what it was? I don't know what to do or how to check?
This was 1 year ago, so now will I never know what caused the illness?
And if it was TB should I not have anti-TB drugs for 6 / 9 months? Or does it not matter if I have some of these bacilli in my lungs.
Thank you very much for any help you could provide.
| Debbie Miller, RN
- Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:44 pm
You can have a Manitoux skin test for TB in spite of BCG vaccination as a child. The effects of the BCG on the test itself only lasts for about five years. It is commonly believed that it shows up for life but this is not true. If you have a significant reaction to the test this many years later it is considered an exposure and infection. Then it is followed by a chest x-ray to determine if the infection is latent or active. If it is active, there is a different antibiotic course than the treatment for latent infection. In either case it is several months' long of strict adherence to a schedule of particiular antibiotics, chosen by culture results of sputum testing, should the x-ray be positive for TB. I would definitely get the skin test and proceed from there.