PODCAST: Is this the new TB patient? About half of infected people don’t have symptoms
Researchers still don’t know whether people with asymptomatic TB spread the bacteria to others, or whether they’ll always develop symptoms
For years, experts have told the public that someone with tuberculosis (TB) is coughing, feeling very poorly, losing weight and having night sweats and fevers during the day.
Now, research suggests that the mental image people have of a TB patient is wrong. About half of people who have evidence of the bacteria in their spit don’t experience any symptoms at all.
Little is known about whether those with asymptomatic TB spread the bacteria to others, or whether all such cases will go on to develop symptoms. In this podcast, Emily Wong of the African Health Research Institute in Durban explains how scientists are thinking about this type of TB patient, and what the health department is doing to catch more asymptomatic cases.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.