PEOPLE suffering from persistent coughs are being urged to get checked out in a bid to combat tuberculosis (TB).
As part of World TB Day on March 24 the Respiratory Team at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is trying to raise awareness about symptoms of the disease.
TB is a bacterial infection which can affect any part of the body but most often it attacks the lungs.
One indicator is a cough which lasts for more than three weeks and does not respond to normal medicine and keeps getting worse.
Coughing up blood is another symptom as is appetite loss, night sweats, unexplained weight loss
high temperature, fever, extreme tiredness or lack of energy.
Only TB of the lungs or throat is infectious as it is spread when people cough, sneeze, talk and even breathe.
For the vast majority of people who do breathe the bacteria in, however, they will not be affected as immune systems will kill it off.
Lead Respiratory Nurse/TB Nurse Specialist Andrea Gough is using World TB day to try and raise awareness about the disease.
She said: “All of these symptoms could be signs of other problems but if you have any of them lasting longer than three weeks and are worried you should talk to your GP.
“If you do have TB, you could be unwittingly passing it on to other people.”
For more information about TB visit www.tbalert.org