Types of Tuberculosis You Must Be Aware Of

Tuberculosis is divided into different types, here are some major categorisation of TB you must know.

Written by: Puru Bansal Updated at: 2023-01-03 09:45

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease and there is no doubt that it takes thousands of life every year in India. Tuberculosis is a lung infection that can spread very rapidly and affect your respiratory system in a way that you have breathing problems and causes serious health ailments. It is caused because of bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. What most people do not know is that tuberculosis is also of different types. Therefore on the occasion of World TB Day, we are going to look at different types of tuberculosis and its effect on your health.

Types of TB

We spoke to Dr. Ashok Tiwari, Head Pulmonologist in Ivory Hospital, Greater Noida to tell us about different types of tuberculosis present in our body. He explained that tuberculosis is usually a contagious lung disease that can affect the lungs from inside as well as outside. So basically there are two main categories in which TB is divided. One is active tuberculosis that is contagious and the other one is latent which isn’t contagious. Active TB is also divided into extra pulmonary TB and pulmonary TB. The normal tuberculosis that affects maximum patients is pulmonary as active tuberculosis. 

Active Vs Latent TB

Active TB

Active tuberculosis or the general TB is a very contagious disease and can spread to people in coming in close proximity with tuberculosis patients. Active TB has many symptoms and causes attached to it. Symptoms of active TB vary depending on the category of tuberculosis the patient is suffering from. Some general symptoms of active TB patients can be-

  • Unusual or unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Having Chills
  • Night Sweats

Active Tuberculosis can cause life-threatening complications if not diagnosed on time. If there are any such symptoms of TB, then you should not delay it and show it to the concerned doctor for help.

Also Read- World Tuberculosis Day 2022: Here’s How Tuberculosis Test Is Done

Latent TB

If you are going through a latent TB infection then it means that the bacteria in the body have been inactive. It seems dangerous because you do not get any symptoms of Tuberculosis in this type of TB. This happens to just 5-10% of the total population that gets affected by tuberculosis. Also a good part of it is that it is not contagious, so people around them will not get infected because of coming in close proximity with the person. However inspite of that, TB blood can affect your skin test and could result positive in diagnostic methods. The risk of this tuberculosis is higher in patients that have weaker immune system or underlying health condition. 

Pulmonary TB

Pulmonary TB is a part of active tuberculosis but this involves lung infection. Usually this is the type of TB people think when they hear about this disease. It is the most common type of bacterial infection that occurs in your lungs in this disease. When you exhale air, then it can still remain in the air for several hours. You may have many severe symptoms of tuberculosis apart from having the general ones we looked in the active TB-

  • There is persistent cough that lasts for about three weeks or more
  • Coughing up blood
  • Having chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing phlegm

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Extra pulmonary TB

This is the type of TB that occurs outside the lungs, it can be equally problematic. Extrapulmonary TB spreads in the organs and bones near the lungs. The symptoms of this disease actually depend on the part of body that has been affected the most. The sub-categories of this TB include the following-

  • Skeletal TB
  • TB lymphadenitis
  • Military TB
  • Genitourinary TB
  • Liver TB
  • Gastrointestinal TB
  • TB meningitis
  • TB peritonitis
  • TB pericarditis
  • Cutaneous TB

Picture Credits- pixabay.com


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