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Tuberculosis (TB)
TB is a disease caused by germs called bacteria that most often affect the
lungs. You can be infected with TB when you breathe in the germs. You are
at a higher risk to get TB if you have a weak immune system. This system
can be weakened by poor diet, illness, medicines, or other causes.
People with TB may have some or all of these signs:
• Cough
• Fever
• Weight loss
• Coughing up blood
• Feeling weak and tired
• Chest pain
A skin test will be done to see if you are infected. A positive test means that
you have been infected by the germ. Your doctor will do a chest x-ray and
sputum tests to see if you have TB. Your family members and others living
with you will also be skin tested.

A negative test often means that you are not infected. The skin test may not
react if you have a weak immune system. Your doctor may check for TB if
your skin test is negative, but you still have signs.
Your Care
If you have a positive skin test or have TB, you will be started on medicines.
• Take your medicines as directed. Take your medicines at the same time
each day and do not stop taking them. You may have to take your
medicines for 6-24 months. If you do not take your medicines, your TB
may return and be harder to treat. You may also infect others if you do
not take all of your medicines.
• Do not drink alcohol while on these medicines because the alcohol may
cause liver problems.
• One of the medicines used to treat TB also may turn your urine and other
body fluids orange.