World TB Day 2020: Tuberculosis Beyond Lungs

March 24 is observed as World TB day to create awareness about the disease as it is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. 

Tavishi Dogra
Written by: Tavishi DograPublished at: Mar 24, 2019Updated at: Mar 24, 2020
World TB Day 2020: Tuberculosis Beyond Lungs

World TB Day 2020: Tuberculosis(TB) is an infectious disease which can affect any organ inside the human body but is common affects the lungs of a person. March 24 is observed as World TB day to create awareness about the disease as it is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. The germs of TB can spread from person to person through airborne particles. The infected germs can spread through a sick person's cough, sneeze or tiny droplets that contain TB germs. Lungs are the most commonly affected organs by TB but in some rare cases, it can affect other organs of the body as well. A person with a weak immune system is at a higher risk of getting the disease.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis

The symptoms of tuberculosis can be easily mistaken because it shows very common symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of tuberculosis may include:

  • Long term cough
  • Blood in cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Chest Pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue

Types of tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is categorised into two major parts. 

  • Latent TB- In this condition, the patient does not experience any symptoms. The TB bacteria stays inside the patient's body but in an inactive state. This type of TB is not contagious. But this infection can become active anytime, hence should be treated on time.
  • Active TB- In this condition, the infection of TB is active which can be transmitted. The patient also experiences symptoms of TB. Most of the cases of active TB are due to reactivation of latent TB when left untreated.

Can TB affect other organs?

Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs in most cases but it can affect another organ as well. The symptoms vary according to the organ it has affected. For example, if TB has affected bone then you may experience joint destruction or spinal pain. When the TB infection affects the liver or kidney then a person may suffer from the inability to filter waste material which can lead to the presence of blood on the urine and inappropriate ratios of various elements in the urine.

TB infection in the heart can disturb the proper functioning of the heart and it would not be able to pump blood as usual. Tuberculosis can also affect the brain of a person. There are also some cases of tuberculosis in which the reproductive organs of an individual get infected which leads to infertility.

Also read: Facts about Tuberculosis

Treatment of Tuberculosis

The treatment of tuberculosis depends on various factors, which may include:


  • The organ which has been affected
  • The type of TB- active or latent
  • The immunity of the patient
  • Resistance to the drugs
  • Patient's age and overall health

The doctor gives a combination of treatment to the patient. The patient should follow the treatment as per advised by the doctor and should not stop the treatment unless the doctor advises.

Read more articles on Other Diseases.