Question:

My best friend was recently diagnosed with tuberculosis. Is it contagious and should I get myself checked too to see if I’m infected?

Answer:

Yes, tuberculosis (TB) is contagious – particularly if the infected person coughs excessively and is in close contact with others. In fact, there is a possibility of TB making a widespread comeback due to the increase in overseas travel – especially when coming into contact with others who are not immunised against TB.

If you have a cough that does not go away within two weeks – coupled with night sweats, appetite and weight loss – you should get a medical check- up to rule out TB infection.

In regards to your friend’s diagnosis, it is wise to go for a check-up nevertheless instead of waiting for these symptoms to appear. Note that people close to you may also need screening to rule out any possible TB infection.

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Ask the Expert is where we answer questions on all aspects of your health and wellness. This panel of experts is facilitated by our content partner Only Health, which include Beldeu Singh, Datin Farah Diba Khan, Dr Ahmad Fauzi Md Sharif, Dr George Yap, Dr Harvinder Singh, Dr Kuljit Singh, Dr Leow Chee Seng, Dr Muhaya Hj Mohamad, Dr Shalini Kanagasingam, Dr Yap Yoke Yeow, Prof Dr Muhaya Hj Mohamad, and Prof Ong Kok Hai.

Send in your health-related questions to expert@healthworks.my.

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