3 Misconceptions on Tuberculosis

May 23, 2022

3 Misconceptions On Tuberculosis Min

Tuberculosis (commonly known as TB) has been endemic in the Philippines.  As per the World Health Organization, TB is still one of the 10 leading causes of death worldwide. In 2017, our country was included in the list of top 10 countries with an alarming number of TB cases. [1]

There are common misconceptions about tuberculosis. Here are some of them:

  1. Tuberculosis affects the lungs only. TB is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The most common type is pulmonary (TB that affects the lungs) but it can also be extrapulmonary (TB that spreads to other parts of the body – the brain, bone, spine, etc.) [2]
  2. Tuberculosis affects only the urban poor. Though, statistics claim that the underprivileged are the ones who are most affected by this disease, it does not mean that only those in the socio economic status who can contract it. TB is airborne. Therefore, anyone who has contact with an infected person is at risk – man or woman, young or old. [3]
  3. Tuberculosis is incurable. Whether you have the pulmonary or extrapulmonary type, there are still 2 categories of TB – latent or active. The former does not show symptoms. Active TB exhibits symptoms from fever, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss among others. Regardless of category, both are contagious. But contrary to outdated belief, tuberculosis is now treatable. [4]

False belief will get you nowhere. Peace of mind is attained only through the right information. Always verify health issues with your trusted healthcare professional.


[1] “Tuberculosis”, World Health Organization, September 18, 2018, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tuberculosis

[2] “Tuberculosis (TB)”, WebMD, n.d., https://www.webmd.com/lung/understanding-tuberculosis-basics#1

[3] “Tuberculosis (TB) Disease: Symptoms and Risk Factors”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 24, 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/features/tbsymptoms/index.html

[4] Santos-Longhurst, Adrienne, “Types of Tuberculosis”, Healthline, February 26, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-tuberculosis#active-vs-latent