Tuberculosis is a condition that attacks the lungs. Of all the infectious diseases, tuberculosis is the second largest cause of death due to illness in the world. It is estimated by the World Health Organization that this illness makes 9 million people every year around the globe sick. It is the third leading cause of death for woman ages 15 to 44.
The symptoms of this infection include a bad cough, fever, weight loss, and night sweats. A person may experience these symptoms for several months. Each person that has TB can affect 10 to 15 people that they come in close contact within one year. TB is caused by a bacteria and it is airborne. All a person has to do is a cough on another and they can get this infection.
Latent TB will be in the body but a person will not experience symptoms. It is not contagious but at any time it can become active. Active TB leads to the symptoms and a person is then contagious. Around a third of the population in the world is said to have latent TB.
In order to check a person for TB, the doctor will listen to the lungs and they will check and see if the lymph nodes are swollen. There is a common skin test that is performed. An injection of PPD will be injected into the arm. The injection is then checked in two or three days. If a person does not have TB the skin did not react. If a person does have TB they often have red and swollen bumps around the injection site.
TB can be treated with the right medicine. The treatment time will vary based on age and whether the virus is active or latent. There are prescription drugs that can be used to treat this and they may have to be taken for a period of 6 months. Tuberculosis signs need to be acknowledged and accepted in order for treatment to take place, so don’t ignore them.
If a person knows another with TB they should not be around them. If a person has TB they should wear a mask when they are around the public. There is also a vaccination that a person can get so they do not get tuberculosis. If a person is going to a foreign country where TB rates are still high a person should make sure they are up to date on the vaccination.
If a person has TB they may have a general feeling of being sick. They may also have pain in their chest and they may cough up blood. A person may also have trouble breathing and may not be able to catch their breath when they cough. They may have unexplained weight loss as well.
Tuberculosis is a condition that is highly contagious but is preventable. A person should avoid close contacts with others with this condition. They should also make sure they are up to date on their vaccination so they do not get this and spread it to others.