Both Strep Throat & Tuberculosis are caused by bacteria - the similarity ends there. While strep throat is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria with symptoms like severe inflammation and pain in the throat, tuberculosis is fatal if left untreated. Tuberculosis is caused by the Tubercle Bacillus or Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.

Strep Throat and Tuberculosis

Strep throat as the name suggests almost always affects your throat & is instantly recognisable as an infection- it's usually treated by common antibiotics - a full course is recommended for complete cure. Doctors recommend you visit a clinic if you have:

  • Sudden fever, especially if it's 101?F or higher
  • Sore, red throat with white patches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing

Tuberculosis on the other hand can infect any part of the body. It can either be:

  • Acute & short-lived or Chronic & long-term.

Doctors identify Tuberculosis (TB) as

Latent - The bacteria the body are inactive, causing no symptoms and are not infectious. But doctors can't predict if or when they become active.

Active - The bacteria are active, i.e., they can be transmitted to others & cause symptoms.

Doctors warn that tuberculosis symptoms may seem like a severe case of strep throat- but the 2 are entirely unrelated.

Consult your doctor if you have the following symptoms of tuberculosis in throat:

  • Cough with thick, cloudy, and sometimes bloody mucus from the lungs (sputum) for over 2 weeks.
  • Fever, chills, and night sweats.
  • Exhaustion and weakness.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Shortness of breath and chest pain.

In India, TB cases are on the rise for several reasons, including antibiotic resistant strains of TB, misdiagnosis, and a firm belief that tuberculosis has been eradicated.