It is widely known that tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease which usually affects the lungs, though it can also affect any organ in the body. TB can develop when bacteria spread through droplets in the air. Tuberculosis can be fatal, but in many cases, it can be preventable and treated.

According to WHO which estimated that in 2018, nearly 10 million people around the world developed TB, while 1.5 million people died from the disease, also including 251,000 people who also had HIV infection.

The majority of the people affected were in Asia. But TB still remain a matter of concern in many other country, including the United States.

THE CAUSES OF TUBERCULOSIS

Causes of TB may include:

THE SYMPTOMS

The Latent TB: Someone with latent TB will have no symptoms, and no damage will show on a chest X-ray. But doing a blood test or skin prick will indicate that they have tuberculosis.

The Active TB: Someone with TB disease might experience a cough that produces phlegm, and also fatigue, a fever, chills, and a loss of appetite and weight. The symptoms might typically worsen over time, but they can also spontaneously go away and return again.

Sometimes TB usually affects the lungs, though symptoms can still develop to other parts of the body. But this is more common in persons with a weak immune systems.

Tuberculosis Can Cause

  • A persistently swollen lymph nodes, or a swollen glands
  • An abdominal pain
  • A joint or bone pain
  • A confusion
  • Constant headache
  • seizures

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THE TREATMENT

By detecting it early and using appropriate antibiotics, TB is treatable.

Sometimes the right type of antibiotic and length of treatment will depend on:

  • Age and overall health of the person
  • If the person has latent or active TB
  • Are of the infection
  • If the strain of TB is drug resistant

The treatment for latent TB can vary. Sometimes it may involve taking an antibiotic once in a week for up to 12 weeks or every day for 9 months.

While the treatment for active TB may involve taking several drugs for 6 to 9 months. It is known that when a person has a drug resistant strain of TB, the treatment will become more complex.

Note that it is important to complete the full course of treatment, even if the symptoms go away. This is because, once the person stops taking their medication early, some bacteria can survive and become even more resistant to antibiotics. Once this happens, the person may go on to develop drug resistant TB.

THE PREVENTION

Below are ways of preventing TB from infecting others:

  • By getting early diagnosis and treatment
  • By staying away from other people until there is no more risk of infecting them
  • By wearing a mask that covers the mouth, and ventilating rooms

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