What is tuberculosis


The infectious disease known as tuberculosis (TB) is spread by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Although it mostly affects the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis), extrapulmonary tuberculosis can also affect other regions of the body. When a person who has active tuberculosis coughs, sneezes, or speaks, droplets carrying the germs are released into the air and can transmit the disease. These droplets can subsequently be inhaled by those in the vicinity, infecting them.

The germs can grow and circulate throughout the body through the bloodstream once they have entered the lungs. Not every person who has the TB bacteria gets sick. Latent TB infection and active TB disease are the two main types of TB infection, in actuality. A latent tuberculosis infection is one in which the germs are there but do not produce symptoms because they are dormant. Individuals who have latent tuberculosis infection are not ill and are not able to infect others. They could, however, experience an increase in the chance of acquiring active tuberculosis if their immune system is compromised by HIV infection, starvation, or certain drugs.

When the germs become active and produce symptoms, active tuberculosis illness develops. The most typical signs of active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) are fever, exhaustion, weight loss, sputum or blood in the cough, and chest pain. Depending on which organs are impacted, extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB) can have different symptoms. For instance, spinal tuberculosis, which affects the spine, can induce neurological symptoms and back discomfort.

TB is a serious worldwide health issue, especially in underdeveloped nations and among susceptible groups including the HIV/AIDS community and individuals with compromised immune systems. Numerous techniques are used to diagnose tuberculosis (TB), including molecular testing like GeneXpert, sputum smear microscopy, and chest X-rays. A course of treatment often consists of taking a combination of antibiotics for several months in order to assure complete bacterial eradication and prevent medication resistance.


The three main approaches to preventing tuberculosis (TB) are treating latent infections to stop them from becoming active, administering the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine in nations where it is regularly administered, and putting infection control measures in place to lessen the spread of the disease in hospital environments. Drug-resistant TB, restricted access to healthcare, and co-infection with HIV are some of the obstacles that continue to impede efforts to eradicate tuberculosis as a global public health concern, despite advancements in global tuberculosis control initiatives.

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