Patient: My husband has lost 35 lbs in 6 months, has night sweats and has a chronic cough. Is he contagious?
Doctor: Hello,Thanks for the query to ATD for an opinion,If your partner is suffering from notable weight loss, with night sweats, loss of appetite and chronic cough, then the most likely differential diagnosis goes in favour of MYCOBACTERIUM TUBERCULOSIS infection or TB. If he has a history of travelling abroad on holidays 6 months back, then the likelihood is even more. It is important that he has to be examined by a physician and a sputum test for acid fast bacilli has to be done along with a chest X-ray and serology to look for IgM & IgG immunoglobulins in blood to confirm the diagnosis. Also, if he has been keeping unwell prior to that, then a HIV test would also be required as a protocol to evaluate the cause of decreased immunity status.If detected positive then he has to be started on anti-tuberculosis drugs for 6 months with 2 months of intensive phase with 4 drugs and then continuation phase of 4 months with 2 drugs. This can be decided by your physician after evaluating the test reports.And yes he can be a open case of tuberculosis and hence can spread the infection through air borne route. You may ask him to keep a mask on over his mouth to protect others from spread.Please visit a chest physician for a complete evaluation.I hope i have answered your query in detail,Wishing you good health,Regards
Comments / Follow Ups
Patient: Oh my. I thought it was either.
Doctor: please get him evaluated soon.