Tuberculosis is a very 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 through coughs and sneezes.
Many tuberculosis bacteria resist the drugs most used to treat the disease. People with active tuberculosis must take different kinds of medications for months to get rid of the infection and prevent antibiotic resistance.
Although your body can harbor the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, your body immunity usually can prevent you from becoming sick. So we've two types:
Latent type. You have a tuberculosis infection, but the bacteria in your body are not active and cause no symptoms. Latent tuberculosis can turn into an active one, so treatment is important.
Active type. Also known as tuberculosis disease, this condition makes you sick and, in most cases, can spread to other people. It can occur weeks, months, or years after infection with the tuberculosis bacteria.
Whether latent or active, it can also be drug-resistant, meaning certain medications won't cure it.
The Signs and symptoms:
Coughing for a long period of time, like up to three or more weeks
Coughing up blood or mucus
Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
Unintentional weight loss
Fatigue or tiredness
Loss of appetite
Photo Credit: Verywellhealth
Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of your body, including the brain, kidneys, or spine. Though tuberculosis is highly contagious, it's not easy to catch. You're much more likely to get it from someone you live or work with than from a stranger. Most people with active tuberculosis who've had the right drug treatment for at least two weeks are no longer contagious.
Since it's an airborne infection, the bacteria are released into the air when someone with infectious tuberculosis coughs or sneezes. The risk of acquiring this infection can be reduced by following these precautions:
Good ventilation: Don't stay in overcrowded rooms, offices, vehicles, shops, or places.
Natural light: Exposure to sunlight kills off the bacteria.
Good hygiene: Always try to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, this can reduce the spread of TB bacteria.
In hospitals and clinics, use protective masks and keep infected patients from other patients.
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