Andrea is reluctant to talk about having tuberculosis (TB). She says “there is a stigma attached to the disease”.
“When I was diagnosed with TB, I was surprised as I thought it was a Victorian disease.
There was a person where I worked who had it. I worked in the office and that person worked in the warehouse. They didn’t tell us who was the carrier, so everyone at my work got tested because they said it could easily be transmitted to others. I was sent to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) for testing, and I tested positive.
I didn’t know anything about TB but I learned as I was being treated. I was put through a series of tests and then was given large doses of medication (four different anti-TB drugs) that I took for six months. The medication caused me to gain weight and made me feel very tired. I also felt nauseous for about an hour each time I took the medicine.
Slowly I got better and I was declared TB-free after six months and again, one year after being diagnosed.
It’s been four years now since I first tested positive for TB and because of the treatment I received I am free of TB. I would say the only side effect is that I seem to catch colds more easily now.”
Andrea’s life is now full of hope and she has a beautiful two-year-old baby girl, both are healthy and well.
“My life was saved because of ongoing research to develop new, more effective medicines for tuberculosis. Thank you TB Vets for continuing to support research into a cure for TB.”*