Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs.
The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.
On March 24, 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB).
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March 24 was designated World TB Day: a day to educate the public about the impact of TB around the world.
Tuberculosis (TB) was called “phthisis” in ancient Greece, “tabes” in ancient Rome, and “schachepheth” in ancient Hebrew. In the 1700s,
TB was called “the white plague” due to the paleness of the patients. TB was commonly called “consumption” in the 1800s even after Schonlein named it tuberculosis.
During this time, TB was also called the “Captain of all these men of death.”
TB is located (pulmonary, extrapulmonary) and how to treat it (drug-susceptible, drug-resistant, multidrug-resistant,
and extensively drug-resistant.)
More than one-third of the world’s population is infected with bacteria that could cause tuberculosis, and between 5 and 10 percent of the people infected will become sick.
Research has it that two million people die from tuberculosis every year.
Nigeria is ranked seventh out of the 30 highest-burden countries for tuberculosis and second in Africa.
Around 470,000 people are diagnosed with tuberculosis in Nigeria every year.
TB has three stages: exposure, latent, and active disease.
This is when the host first comes into contact with TB bacteria. If the body is strong enough, it will fight off the TB bacteria and not become infected.
70%~90% of people that come into contact with TB bacteria will fight off the disease with their own body’s immune system but 10%~30% of the time, the immune system will
contain the bacteria, turning it into Latent TB.
When someone with Latent TB:
Goes through mental, physical, or emotional stress
It Grows older
Contracts a serious disease
Has HIV, or
Does drug/alcohol abuse
their immune system can weaken and Latent TB can reactivate into Active TB.
some people who have latent TB infection are more likely to develop TB disease than others. Those at high risk for developing TB disease include:
- People with HIV infection
- People who became infected with TB bacteria in the last 2 years
- Babies and young children
- People who inject illegal drugs
- People who are sick with other diseases that weaken the immune system
- Elderly people
- People who were not treated correctly for TB in the past
The tuberculosis germs spread within the lung and can come out of the lung from exhalation or coughed-up sputum.
This is when tuberculosis germs can be transmitted. The tuberculosis bacteria can also travel from the lungs to other parts of the body by traveling through the bloodstream.
If TB is left untreated during the active stage, death is very likely.
Doctors across the board recommend two kinds to detect TB bacteria in the body: the TB skin test (TST) and TB blood tests.
A positive TB skin test or TB blood test only tells that a person has been infected with TB bacteria. It does not tell whether the person has latent TB infection (LTBI)
or has progressed to TB disease. Other tests, such as a chest x-ray and a sample of sputum, are needed to see whether the person has TB disease.
Certain people should be tested for TB infection because they are at higher risk for being infected with TB bacteria, including:
People who have spent time with someone who has TB disease
People from a country where TB disease is common (most countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia)
People who live or work in high-risk settings (for example correctional facilities, long-term care facilities or nursing homes, and homeless shelters)
Health-care workers who care for patients at increased risk for TB disease
Infants, children, and adolescents exposed to adults are at increased risk for latent tuberculosis infection or TB disease
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TB
- Coughing for three or more weeks
- Coughing up blood or mucus
- Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
- Unintentional weight loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of appetite
We must take care of our health as it’s well known that health is wealth