Pneumonia or tuberculosis? Learn how to differentiate diseases

Both problems can cause confusion at the time of diagnosis because they have very similar symptoms. The  tuberculosis  and pneumonia have to cough as one of the most common signs of the disease.

The diagnosis becomes more difficult, especially in diabetic patients, with chronic renal failure, the elderly, people with liver problems or people with the HIV virus .

In such cases, people may have atypical conditions, making diagnosis more difficult.

But when it comes to differentiating it is important to take into account the time it takes for symptoms to get worse . Pneumonia tends to progress rapidly, while tuberculosis can take weeks to worsen and requires medical help.

One of the ways of distinguishing between these two occurs when the patient presents typical symptoms of pneumonia, such as fever and cough, but even with the treatment of antibiotics, there is no improvement in the condition. Thus,  pulmonary tuberculosis  becomes one of the main suspicions.

Another difference is in the infectious agent . While pneumonia occurs by different agents, tuberculosis occurs by a single bacterium,  Mycobacterium tuberculosis , also known as Koch’s bacillus.

They also differ by transmission, with tuberculosis being highly more contagious than pneumonia.

For the correct diagnosis, it is also important to analyze the time it took for the disease to manifest. Pneumonia is an acute condition, within a few hours of infection the symptoms begin to affect the patient.

The interval between the appearance of the first signs and the search for a doctor can be between 48 and 72 hours in these cases. In tuberculosis, on the other hand, the process is different. Symptoms appear gradually and more slowly. Cough, the main symptom, also gets worse over time.

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