Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is a lethal, infectious disease caused due to infection of bacteria especially mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is usually observed in the lungs but may also spread to other parts of the body. This disease is highly contagious and may spread from person to person through inhalation of air and spread of droplets of cough or sneeze of the infected person in the air.
Treatment And Control Of Tuberculosis
Underprivileged people living in slums with unhygienic conditions and those suffering from malnutrition are more susceptible to this infection. These people have less availability of proper medical facilities and thus are more under the risk category. People infected by HIV are also affected by mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Almost 22% of people suffering from AIDS are known to have tuberculosis. Also, many other factors such as consumption of corticosteroids, alcohol, chain smoking, and people affected by diabetes mellitus are more prone to developing this disease. Genetic factors are also linked to cause tuberculosis.
Immuno-compromised people or people consuming immunosuppressant drugs develop infection of this bacterium due to low immune response. Certain races are more prone to developing this disease than others. Injecting illicit drugs are known to cause infection.
If not controlled within time, tuberculosis may create dangerous health hazards. Pulmonary tuberculosis refers to the infection of mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lungs. Symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis are prolonged cough with presence of blood in sputum, fatigue, fever, and weight loss, loss of appetite and yellowish appearance of skin. If not treated within time, it may lead to scarring in the upper lobe of the lungs.
Extra pulmonary tuberculosis may occur in several parts of the body. The treatment for each differs from one another and depends on the area of infection and the severity. In meningitis, the central nervous system is affected whereas urinogenital TB occurs in the genitourinary system.
Prevention Of TB
Vaccination doses given in proper time is important so as to prevent infection by myobacteria. BCG (bacillus calmette Guerin) vaccine prevents against infection and should be administered in proper doses to infants as a preventive measure. Primary detection and treatment would help in preventing the infection from getting severe.
Use of antibiotics as recommended by a doctor, usually for 6 to 9 months is essential but is also prone to be ineffective due to unusual structure and chemical composition. Also, there are chances that the bacterium may become resistant to antibiotics. TB drugs such as Isoniazid, Rifadin, Ethambutol and Pyrazinamide should be taken as suggested by a doctor. There are chances that these drugs may lead to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fever, dark urine and loss of appetite.
Some general treatment and preventive measures such as avoiding close physical contact with affected individuals, use of a surgical mask and covering the mouth while coughing or sneezing for affected individuals should not be overlooked. Proper ventilation of the room for the affected person and disposal of wastes should also be taken care of. Last but not the least, vaccination of babies and taking proper doses of medications should be given utmost importance.
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