Lungs are a common site of infection for tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial disease. The kidneys, spine, and brain are just some other organs that could be harmed. Transmission of tuberculosis occurs most frequently by droplets in the air released during a cough or sneeze. An exposed person may develop an active infection years after the initial exposure.
An estimated 10 million people contract tuberculosis every year (TB). For HIV-positive patients, tuberculosis is the leading cause of death and a key driver of antibiotic resistance. Being infected with the tuberculosis bacteria is not the same as having tuberculosis.
The different stages of tuberculosis include,
One can contract tuberculosis from just exposure to an infected person. The exposed person will show no symptoms of the disease and have a negative skin test and a normal chest X-ray.
Latent TB infection:
This occurs when a person carries the TB germs but shows no outward signs of having tuberculosis. The immune system of a person with tuberculosis prevents the TB organisms from entering the body. And in the vast majority of infected persons, tuberculosis never becomes active. A positive skin or blood test for tuberculosis, but either a negative chest X-ray or one that shows just old scarring, would indicate this. No other symptoms of an active illness would be present.
The symptoms of a full-blown TB illness are present in this individual. A positive chest X-ray, biopsy, or other result indicating a current infection may contradict a positive skin or blood test for tuberculosis.
The significant types of tuberculosis:
Active TB disease:
The disease is active when TB bacteria multiply rapidly and invade new organs. Coughing phlegm, experiencing chest pain, feeling weak, losing weight, experiencing fever, chills, and night sweats are all common signs of active tuberculosis. A person with active pulmonary TB can spread the disease to others by coughing infective particles into the air.
Miliary TB disease:
Miliary tuberculosis (MTB) is a highly uncommon form of the active disease caused by the spread of TB bacteria through circulation. When the bacteria take this form, they rapidly disperse throughout the body in nodules and simultaneously impact numerous bodily systems. A fast death can occur with this strain of tuberculosis.
The signs and symptoms of tuberculosis:
- Low-grade fever
- Night sweats
- Loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
- Coughing (with sputum)
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
What are the first signs of tuberculosis?
- Continuous coughing for three or more weeks.
- Coughing up blood or mucus.
- Chest pain
- Pain while breathing or coughing
- Weight loss
The kidneys, spine, and brain are all potential sites of tuberculosis infection. The symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) that have spread to other parts of the body are not the same for everyone. Pain in the back is a common symptom of tuberculosis of the spine, while blood in the urine is a symptom of TB of the kidneys.
What are the causes of tuberculosis?
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis. Airborne pathogens attack most people’s lungs but can cause illness everywhere in the body. While TB is contagious, it often spreads slowly. You must be in close contact with a contagious person for an extended period before you catch their illness.
When should you visit a TB specialist doctor?
Those who fear they may have tuberculosis and exhibit symptoms should make an appointment with their health care physician. A physician specializing in infectious or respiratory diseases may be recommended (pulmonologist). See a tuberculosis specialist doctor if you have a persistent cough, cold, night sweats, or high body temperature.
Who is at risk of getting tuberculosis?
If you spend a lot of time in close quarters with someone who has tuberculosis, you’re more likely to contract the disease.
To name a few examples:
- Those who have frequent and prolonged interaction with a sick person.
- Homeless persons, people who use injectable drugs, and people with HIV have a higher risk of contracting tuberculosis than the general population.
- Employees and residents of high-risk facilities, such as hospitals, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and residential residences for patients with HIV.
- Latent tuberculosis infection does not always result in full-blown TB illness. Those with compromised immune systems are more likely to get full-blown tuberculosis.
The steps involved in the prevention of tuberculosis:
Once you begin treatment for active TB, it will take a few weeks until you no longer risk spreading the disease to others. Keep yourself and those around you safe until your doctor gives you the all-clear to resume your normal activities. Guidelines for preventing infections, such as.
- Frequently and carefully washing one’s hands.
- Cover your mouth and elbow while coughing.
- Trying to keep your distance from other individuals.
- Take all of your medications as prescribed.
- Not going back to work or school before getting the all-clear from your doctor.
Essential to preventing the spread of tuberculosis in a healthcare setting is good ventilation and appropriate PPE. Reach out to the best lungs hospital in Coimbatore to avoid complications.
Get in touch with your tuberculosis doctor immediately if you suspect you may have been exposed to tuberculosis. You can seek advice from them on whether or not you should get checked. If you have any signs of a disease that could make you contagious, you should think long and hard before making that choice. Don’t forget that tuberculosis can be cured, but it can also be fatal if left untreated.