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Tuberculosis

  • What is Tuberculosis?

    Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria called mycobacterium tuberculosis. It affects mainly the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis), but can infect other organs of the body. Tuberculosis is an airborne disease, and is spread to through the inhalation of droplets which disperse in the air when an infected person (with active tuberculosis) sneezes, coughs or laughs.

    If not treated promptly and properly, active tuberculosis can lead to serious health complications. Not everyone with a tuberculosis infection becomes sick and develops symptoms, ie. develops active tuberculosis. In some people, the bacteria can remain dormant and not cause any symptoms.

    • People who spend a long time around a person with untreated active tuberculosis have a high risk of contracting the infection if they inhale the respiratory droplets spread by the infected person.
    • People with a weakened immune system, due to AIDS, cancer, or drug addiction, or have an underlying disease such as diabetes, are also at greater risk of developing active tuberculosis.
    • Tuberculosis is one of the main diseases linked to poverty and is closely linked with malnutrition and overcrowding (since bacteria spreads easily between people in densely populated places).
  • People with active pulmonary tuberculosis infection can develop the following symptoms:

    • Coughing up blood
    • Difficulty breathing and wheezing
    • Tiredness
    • Fever and chills
    • Loss of appetite
    • Persistent cough
    • Sweating excessively, mainly at night
    • Weight loss
  • Treatment of active pulmonary tuberculosis aims at fighting the tuberculosis-causing bacteria, and these include:

    • A combination of anti-tuberculosis drugs, to be taken for 6 – 9 months. The most common drugs include:
      1. Isoniazid
      2. Rifampcin
      3. Pyrazinamide
      4. Ethambutol
      5. Streptomycin
    • Avoiding contact with other people by either staying at home or getting admitted to the hospital, to prevent the infection from spreading
    • Drugs that need to be taken regularly as prescribed, until the bacteria is killed even if symptoms disappear, to prevent the bacteria from developing resistance to the drugs used (cure rate is greater than 95% if the patient follows instructions)
    • Taking a different set of drugs if the tuberculosis bacteria becomes resistant to the initial drugs used. The different set of drugs tend to have greater side effects and need to be taken for a longer period
    • The World Health Organisation DOT (directly observing treatment) programme which involves supervising tuberculosis patients to take the correct dosage and combination of their anti-tuberculosis drugs
    • Life-threatening complications can occur if a multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis infection occurs.
    • Permanent lung damage can occur if tuberculosis treatment is not received.
    • Tuberculosis infection can spread to other body organs including the gastrointestinal system, the brain, the bone and the central nervous system, leading to serious complications.
  • Our Specialists

    There are 11 SpecialistsView All

    • Alvin Ng Choon Yong

      Specialty:
      Internal Medicine
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

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      Clinic:
      The Respiratory Practice
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #07-02, Gleneagles Medical Centre
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      64755118
    • Chan Ping Wah Kenneth

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Respiratory Medical Associates
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #07-14
      Gleneagles Medical Centre
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      64739984
    • Chew Huck Chin

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Respiratory Medical Associates
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #07-14
      Gleneagles Medical Centre
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      6473 9984
    • Goh Teck Chong

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

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      Clinic:
      T C Goh Medical And Resp Clinic P/L
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #10-01
      Gleneagles Medical Ctr
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      64795897
    • Jim Teo Yeow Kwan

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

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      Clinic:
      The Respiratory Practice
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #07-02, Gleneagles Medical Centre
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      64755118
    • John Law Lik Muk

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine

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      Clinic:
      The Respiratory Practice
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #07-02, Gleneagles Medical Centre
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      64755118
    • Lee Kang Hoe

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Asian American Liver Centre
      Location:
      6A Napier Road #02-37
      Gleneagles Medical Centre Annexe Block
      Singapore 258500
      Contact No:
      64762088
    • Lo Pau Lin Constance

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Respiratory Medical Associates
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #07-14
      Gleneagles Medical Centre
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      64739984
    • Steve Yang Tze Yi

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine

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      Clinic:
      The Respiratory Practice
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #07-02, Gleneagles Medical Centre
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      64755118
    • Tan Yoke Khim

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Respiratory & Med Specialists P/L
      Location:
      6 Napier Road #06-02
      Gleneagles Medical Ctr
      Singapore 258499
      Contact No:
      64711930

    There are 11 SpecialistsView All

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