Five Facts about Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by mycobacteria. It mostly affects lungs but in some of the cases spine, kidneys as well as brain is also infected by the disease. TB infection on an average kills almost two million people yearly by spreading through the medium of tiny droplets in air. Combination therapies are seen to have positive results in treating tuberculosis. For instance, with operational feasibility of DOTS in Indian, eight out of ten patients are successfully cured in comparison to the previous treatment programs. Here are some of the important facts about Tuberculosis.
There are two main categories of TB:
- Pulmonary tuberculosis: it is a contagious bacterial infection that mainly effects lungs but in some of the cases can spread to other organs as well. TB pneumonia, TB pleurisy, laryngeal TB, cavitary TB and miliary TB are the different types of pulmonary tuberculosis.
- Extrapulmonary tuberculosis: an infection by tubercular bacilli that affects body parts and organs outside the lungs. Bones and kidney are largely infected by extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Some of its types include renal TB, adrenal tuberculosis, lymph node disease, osteal tuberculosis, TB pericarditis, TB peritonitis and TB meningitis.
In the primary stage there are no evident symptoms of TB. But active TB in later stages is contagious and have symptoms such as coughing up blood, cough up mucus, fatigue, fever, unintentional weight loss and excessive sweating at night.
Transmission and Causes
TB is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, this bacterium spreads from a person to other via airborne particles. Ones the bacteria find its way to your body the first possibility is that they are destroyed the immune system immediately. But if the immune system is not strong enough then the TB bacteria lodge in the lungs and multiply. They can move via blood to other parts of the body, like kidneys, brain and joints. In some of the cases immune system keep a check on infection but in 10% of cases it breaks out to active TB disease.
Have good diet and exercise regularly for keeping your immune system healthy. Get tested on returning from countries that high rates of the disease. In case of latent TB, person must take preventive therapy and ensure to complete the treatment so that all the infected cells are destroyed.
Due to presence of multiple bacteria, combination of medications is seen to work best for treating tuberculosis. Isoniazid, pyrazinamide, rifampin and ethambutol are some medications for killing TB bacteria. After treatment the person can carry on with normal routine life. With regular treatment, TB can be cured with in period of six to eight months. It is only in some cases that it takes longer duration.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Mar 15, 2011
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