ANYONE suffering with a persistent cough might have a potentially fatal Victorian disease, not Covid.
A top doctor has warned tuberculosis might be the culprit if your cough isn’t from the coronavirus.
A persistent cough could mean you have a disease linked to the Victorian eraCredit: Alamy
Dr Jenny Harries, CEO of the UKHSA, said: “It is important to remember that not every persistent cough, along with a fever, is Covid-19.
“A cough that usually has mucus and lasts longer than three weeks can be caused by a range of other issues, including tuberculosis.
“Tuberculosis develops slowly, and it may take several weeks, months or even years after you were infected before you notice you’re unwell.
“Contact your GP if you think you could be at risk so you can get tested and treated.
“TB is curable and preventable and now is the time to get our elimination efforts back on track.
“Despite significant progress towards elimination in recent years, tuberculosis remains a serious public health issue in the UK.
“With treatment, most people will make a full recovery, but delayed diagnosis and treatment, particularly during the pandemic, will have increased the number of undetected tuberculosis cases in the country.”
Symptoms of TB include:
- a persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks and usually brings up phlegm, which may be bloody
- breathlessness that gradually gets worse
- lack of appetite and weight loss
- a high temperature
- night sweats
- extreme tiredness or fatigue
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Despite significant progress made in the last decade towards eliminating tuberculosis in England, it is very concerning to see an upward trend in cases.
“TB is a serious infectious disease, and without treatment it can be life-threatening.
“TB disproportionately affects people in deprived and underserved groups, so it is vital everyone has access to effective treatment so we can continue to level up health across the nation.
“If you have a persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks along with a fever, please contact your GP as soon as possible to get tested.”
The risk factors for TB include close contact with a person with infectious disease, migration from countries with high rates, homelessness, substance misuse, a weakened immune system and being in prison.
The best way to know if you have Covid or not is to take a lateral flow test, before considering a PCR.
From April 1, free Covid testing will no longer be offered by the Government to people in England, with the rest of the UK following suit.
Instead, the public will have to pay if they want to confirm if they are Covid positive.
It’s part of Boris Johnson’s plan to “live with Covid” and move the nation forward without self isolation and restrictions.
While a persistent cough may not be Covid or tuberculosis, it could still be something you need to treat.
So if you have noticed a cough for a few weeks that isn’t going, make an appointment with your doctor.
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