Continued from previous page.

How is tuberculosis (TB) treated?

Tuberculosis can be cured with anti-TB medication. As treatment for TB takes much longer than other types of bacterial infections, a patient is often required to take a combination of drugs for six to nine months.

​Even if the symptoms of tuberculosis begin to disappear after you’ve begun taking the drugs, it is imperative to continue taking them for the entire course to ensure that all TB germs are killed, says Dr Low Su Ying, Senior Consultant, Department of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth​ group.

“Incomplete TB treatment will allow the surviving TB germs to continue to grow and multiply. But this time, they may develop resistance to the first-line drugs. In such situations, second-line TB drugs must be taken for a longer period but the chance of cure is considerably reduced,” explains Dr Low.

Prevention tips for tuberculosis (TB)

Here are the measures you can adopt to help protect yourself and others from tuberculosis:

  1. Go for a check-up if you suspect that you co​uld be suffering from TB.
  2. Keep your immune system functioning properly by adopting healthy eating habits, exercising regularly and getting sufficient sleep.
  3. If someone you know has contracted TB, encourage him or her to adhere faithfully to the treatment.

If you have been diagnosed with active TB, be sure to:

  1. Complete the full course of your TB medications.
  2. Stay at home especially during the first two weeks of treatment.
  3. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wear a face mask when around people dur​ing the first few weeks of treatment.

See previous​ page for t​he types, symptoms and risks of tuberculosis​.

​Ref: S13