Tuberculosis also known TB is a disease that commonly affects lungs. It is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria and can be spread to any organ in body with blood circulation or lymph nodes.
Tuberculosis bacteria spread one person to another by coughing or sneezing. Bacteria are transmitted by droplets in the air. If a person with a weak immune system takes this air into the lungs , immune system can’t eliminate the bacteria and the person may have tuberculosis disease. For exp. AIDS is a immune deficiency syndrome and a person with AIDS will be more prone to have tuberculosis than other people. Tuberculosis may be found in kidneys, brain and spine.
Active and Latent Tuberculosis Forms
Latent form of TB
Tuberculosis may be taken to body and settles usually in lungs. At beginning it does not cause any disease if immune system works well. Infection is inactive in this period and not contagious. This inactive and quiet period is called latent tuberculosis.
Active form of TB
In active form tuberculosis disease and symptoms can be seen. The illness is contagious in this period. Active tuberculosis disease may occur in a few weeks, in months even in years after the tuberculosis bacteria enter the body.
Symptoms of Tuberculosis
- A bad cough for 3 weeks or longer
- Chest pain
- Pain when breathing or coughing
- Coughing up blood or sputum
- Sweating at night
- Weigth loss
- Loss of appetite
- Back pain if tuberculosis occurs in spine
- Blood in urine/hematuria if tuberculosis occurs in kidneys
- HIV/AIDS patients
- Heavy smokers
- Iv drug users
- Children younger than 5 years old
- People with weak immune system
- Health care workers
- Kidney failure
- Chemotherapy treatment for cancer
- Immunosuppresive drugs: Drugs that are used after organ transplantation
Who are under tuberculosis risk ?
Tuberculosis infection may be found in anybody but some people have more risk of tuberculosis because of some reasons;
Weak immune system causes