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Are there any tests to diagnose the relapse of TB?

Q: Should a past tuberculosis (TB) patient (who has completed the course) need to undergo any tests to ensure that he/she is not developing TB again? What are the tests?

A:The screening of close contacts of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis is an important component in the control and prevention of TB disease and must have been done by your doctor. You can relax and stop worrying about reactivation of TB, if you were treated adequately as per your doctor. No tests are required or recommended to ensure that you are not developing TB again. At the personal level, you need to contact your doctor if you develop symptoms suggestive of TB as in the previous episode. Other than that, you also need to maintain a healthy lifestyle to strengthen your immune system. If your immune system gets compromised due to any reason due to steroids, cancer treatment, HIV infection, etc, then you need to be more careful since the risk of reactivation is higher.


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