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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: How does dormant tb become active tb?

 christinayoon88 - Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:20 pm

My ppd test for tb was inconclusive so I assumed I had dormant tb but I got very sick recently and I've developed a cough that's lasted more than three weeks. About a week ago I started having strange pains in my left side under my rib where my kidney would be. At first I thought it was a cramp but it hasn't gone away, it got worse a couple days after first experiencing the pains and several days ago my right side started to hurt as well. I think my dormant tb became active when I got really sick and somehow infected my kidneys. What can I do myself?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:08 pm

User avatar Hello,
TB activation may occur when your immune system is depressed. Active TB usually manifests with feeling ill, fever and night sweats are common as well as a serious cough. But, it's easy enough to diagnose so you need to see a doctor or public health department. TB is a threat to the community so the local health departments are actively involved in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of spread to others. You can probably schedule testing there, though I do not know your location or the specifics. It is a place to start.

There are many viruses that can cause a persistent cough and pneumonia is one possibility. If you have a bacterial infection, you definitely need antibiotics so it is important that you see your doctor soon. TB cannot be self-treated and if there is any chance you may have it, you must get treatment. It is a slow-growing organism so don't panic, but do follow up.

Best wishes.

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