Tuberculosis alone is an epidemic and life-threatening disease. But what could be worse is that tuberculosis can spread beyond the lungs, causing other infections.
Pulmonary tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection, which does not stay put and spreads to other parts of the body. The bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the primary bacterium leading to pulmonary tuberculosis. Pulmonary tuberculosis is basically when Mycobacterium tuberculosis attacks the lungs and spreads to other parts of the body.
It spreads when a person suffering from pulmonary TB breathes out the air droplets that contain the infectious bacteria and another person breathes the same air. The bacteria containing Tb is released more when the infected person coughs or laughs.
According to the American Lung Association, more than 9.2 million people have an active form of the bacteria. If not taken care of in time, then it may turn into permanent lung damage. Among the people who carry the germ, most have latent TB, meaning that your immune system is protecting you from getting sick.
People who have an active form of the bacteria in their system are a 10% lifetime risk of getting the disease. However, if a person starts showing symptoms of pulmonary TB and it might be contagious.
An infected person might show other symptoms, in such case, consult a doctor as an expert would be able to give proper diagnosis after looking at the symptoms.
Most people who develop the aforementioned symptoms have previously been infected with primary TB. Some people are more at risk of developing the disease than others:
Your doctor will potentially:
Once you are diagnosed with pulmonary TB, you immediately become contagious. To avoid spreading the infection, you must take a few basic precautions. If you suffer from the disease or you are surrounded by someone who has pulmonary TB, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risk of the disease:
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