Medical Specialty >> Infections

Doctors Lounge - Infections Answers

Back to Infections Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge (www.doctorslounge.com) does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on www.doctorslounge.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

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.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us