- For years, experts have told the public that someone with TB is coughing, feeling poorly, losing weight, having night sweats and fevers during the day.
- Now, research suggests the mental image people have of a TB patient is wrong. About half of people who have evidence of the bacteria in their spit don't experience any symptoms at all.
- Little is known about whether those with asymptomatic TB spread the bacteria to others, or whether all such cases will go on to develop symptoms.
- In this podcast, Emily Wong, of the African Health Research Institute in Durban, explains how scientists are thinking about this type of TB patient, and what the health department is already doing to catch more asymptomatic cases.
About half of people who are infected with tuberculosis (TB) don't have symptoms. Researchers still don't know whether people with asymptomatic TB spread the bacteria to others, or whether they'll always develop symptoms.
This story was produced by the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism. Sign up for the newsletter.