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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Developed cough, fever blister and swollen lymph node. Could it be latent TB infection?

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Dr. Rakhi Tayal

OBGYN

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 13084 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 26 Dec 2012 in Infections
Question: Hello! I am a 34 year old nurse who got sick about 2 1/2 weeks ago. My symptoms started with development of a large fever blister (which I have not had in 10 years) and swollen and tender lymph nodes. The next day fever started very high, as high as 103 and lasted roughly 4 days. Around day 3 I developed a cough with congestion. I went to the doctor on day 4 and was diagnosed with right lower lobe pneumonia and a viral infection. I took 10 days of Omnicef and 5 days of prednisone.I finally started feeling better around day 9, but have continued to have a cough. It is like a tickle in the top of my lungs when I take a XXXXXXX breath and I do cough up a small amount of very thin, clear sputum. Tonight I started running low grade temp again, 99.8. My mom is freaking me out because I have had positive TB test in the past with negative chest x-ray and she is saying what if it is Latent TB infection that has become active. I have never been treated for TB. Just so you know, my 8 year old son was also diagnosed with mono the week before I got sick, so I have recently been exposed to that as well.
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Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
It seems that the infection in your lungs has not subsided completely after taking thew antibiotic for 10 days. To rule out tuberculosis, you can get serum IgG and IgA evaluated for tubercular antigen which a specific test for the diagnosis of tuberculosis.
The mild cough and a clear sputum that you are having can be due to a persistent mild infection in the airways. You can start with steam inhalation and plenty of warm fluids intake for symptomatic relief. Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot (but not boiling water) may help to soften, and loosen, the buildup of mucus in your airways. You may also find that adding some menthol crystals, or eucalyptus oil, to the water helps a lot. Other than that, avoid eating indigestible, spicy, foods and meats and eat simple wholesome foods. Out-of-door exercise, sunbaths also help a lot.Taking cough lozenges and a steroid inhaler will help in the improvement if the tuberculosis is ruled out after the blood test.
Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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