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Thursday, May 23, 2013
TB? Or something else?
Hi, About 5 months ago I did some volunteer work on a Native reserve in northern Canada where I was told that there were no active cases of TB but that there had been TB there in the past. About 1 month ago, I noticed a palpable epitrochlear lymph node (mobile, firm, a little less than 1cm), and possibly some other small lymph nodes in my right axilla and around my neck. Then a few days ago I developed a non-productive cough with shortness of breath that I notice more in the morning and some hoarseness. This started about 2 days after the resolution of a brief sore throat. Is there any chance that this could be TB? What else could it be (or is the cough probably unrelated to the lymph nodes)? Thanks so much!
In order to decide whether or not you have tuberculosis disease, you would need to see a doctor to have a TB skin test placed and read, a chest x-ray taken, and likely have other tests run, depending on the results of the TB skin test and chest x-ray. If you continue to cough or feel short of breath, or if you think the lymph nodes are getting larger, you should go see a doctor.
Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati