Worries abound after a notice from a Cheras apartment complex claimed there was a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in the surrounding areas.
A notice allegedly issued by the management office of a Klang Valley apartment complex claimed there was a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in Cheras.
In the notice, a total of 118 TB cases were allegedly confirmed in the surrounding area.
Residents were advised to wear a face mask before entering the apartment premises.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa denied claims of a TB outbreak in the Klang Valley and assured that everything is under control.
There’s no epidemic or outbreak. TB cases are always around the corner and we are constantly monitoring the spread of the disease in the Klang Valley.Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa
Zaliha said the health department is studying the issue and asked the public to refrain from spreading unverified information to prevent panic. She also encouraged anyone who is displaying TB symptoms to seek treatment.
She further advised people to get updates from the MySejahtera app. Under the Infectious Disease Tracker in the app, everyone can check for the number of active cases in different areas.
At the time of writing, 11 TB cases have been reported in Cheras in the past 60 days.
What is tuberculosis and its symptoms?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that most often affects the lungs and is caused by a type of bacteria.
The disease is spread through the air when infected people cough, sneeze, or spit. This was why the notice issued by the apartment complex’s management office advised its residents to don a face mask.
Tuberculosis symptoms are different in each stage.
In a primary TB infection, the symptoms may not be apparent. At most, they might exhibit flu-like symptoms such as low fever, tiredness, or coughs.
In an active TB disease, the immune system can no longer control the infection. Symptoms of active TB disease in the lungs usually begin gradually and can show up as:
- Coughing up blood and mucus
- Chest pains
- Pain with breathing or coughing
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- No appetite to eat
In active TB disease outside the lungs (extrapulmonary tuberculosis), the symptoms vary depending on the part of the infected body.
The common symptoms are the same as the symptoms in an active TB disease, including experiencing pain near the site of infection.
Fortunately, TB is curable and preventable. Upon seeking medical treatment, patients are given a course of antibiotics to be taken daily for four to six months for maximum effectiveness.
However, there are other treatments with different medicines if it’s a drug-resistant TB.
Aside from observing good hygiene, infected individuals are reminded to be mindful by covering their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze.
They should also dispose of tissues and sputum properly to prevent the spread of infection to others.