TB is a major disease in South Africa and is commonly associated with HIV.
An estimated 360,000 South Africans contracted TB in 2019, and an estimated 58,000 others died from it. Of the estimated 58,000 who died, an estimated 36,000 were HIV positive.
Finishing medication or treatment is the most important step in protecting oneself and others from the disease. Failure to finish the treatment or skipping treatments allows the TB bacteria to develop and become immune to medication.
Signs and symptoms of active TB
- Coughing for three or more weeks
- Coughing up blood or mucus
- Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
- Unintentional weight loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of appetite
TB is passed from person to person. It is recommended that one sees a doctor if exposed to TB, if they have a fever, unexplained weight loss, drenching night sweats or a persistent cough.