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Tuberculosis - Symptoms and Treatment

Tuberculosis generally known as TBis a disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis . It mainly infects the lungs, although it can affect other organs as well. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (miliary tuberculosis), genitourinary system, bones and joints. Tuberculosis disease can become reactivated in different organs if the immune system is weakened. The lungs are the favourite place for the illness to strike. Tuberculosis is one of the deadliest and most common major infectious diseases today

Symptoms of Tuberculosis

The lungs are the favourite place for the illness to strike and depending upon the organ or area affected.Primary pulmonary tuberculosis usually produces no signs or symptoms, and a chest X-ray shows no signs of infection.Rarely, there may be enlargement of the lymph nodes and possibly some coughing. Early symptoms of active TB can include weight loss, fever, night sweats, and loss of appetite. Symptoms may be vague, however, and go unnoticed by the affected person. Another type of infection is called reactivation tuberculosis . The primary infection has resolved, but the bacteria are dormant, or hibernating. Common symptoms may include:

  • A cough with thick, cloudy, and sometimes bloody mucus (sputum) from the lungs for more than 2 weeks.
  • A rapid heartbeat.
  • A swollen neck (when lymph nodes in the neck are infected).
  • Fever, chills, and night sweats.
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness.
  • Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss.
  • Shortness of breath and chest pain (in rare cases).

Causes of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis , slow-growing bacteria that thrive in areas of the body that are rich in blood and oxygen, such as the lungs. All cases of TB are passed from person to person via droplets. The comman causes are show below the listed:

  • When the bacteria cause clinically detectable disease, you have TB.
  • People who have inhaled the TB bacteria, but in whom the disease is controlled are referred to as infected. They have no symptoms, frequently have a positive skin test, yet cannot transmit the disease to others.
  • Once infectious particles reach the alveoli, small sacs in your lungs, another cell called the macrophage engulfs the TB bacteria.
  • HIV infection
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Alcoholism
  • Homelessness
  • Crowded living conditions
  • Diseases that weaken the immune system
  • Migration from a country with a high number of cases

Treatment of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis's patients that cannot be spread to others (latent TB) also receive treatment to prevent the infection from becoming active. the list of traetment are follow :

  • Using more than one medication to treat active TB. The standard initial treatment combines 4 medications to prevent multidrug-resistant TB . People who have latent TB may take one or two antibiotics.
  • Treating active TB for a minimum of 6 months and longer if necessary. Treatment for latent TB usually lasts 9 months with isoniazid or 4 months with rifampin.
  • Using direct observation treatment. This may mean daily visits with a health professional who watches you take your medication. A cure for TB requires you to take all doses of the antibiotics. These visits ensure that people follow medication instructions, which is helpful because of the long treatment course for TB.
  • The most common cause of treatment failure is people's failure to comply with the medical regimen. This may lead to the emergence of drug-resistant organisms. You must take your medications as directed, even if you are feeling better.
  • Trying a different combination of medications if the treatment is not working because of drug resistance (when tests show that TB-causing bacteria are still active).

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