Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2018, an estimated 10 million people contracted TB and 1.5 million died from the disease. When infected with tuberculosis, if not treated in time, the patient’s body will gradually weaken and lead to death. Let’s find out the signs of tuberculosis in this article!
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is a contagious disease that can be spread from person to person through the air. When someone with TB coughs, sneezes, or spits, they release TB bacteria into the air. at the lung.
The bacteria that cause tuberculosis not only attack the lungs but can also travel through the bloodstream or lymph nodes to other parts of the body, such as the kidneys, spine, and brain to cause disease there. Tuberculosis if not treated promptly and appropriately can lead to death.
Types of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis usually has two main types:
Latent TB infection is a condition when TB bacteria can live in your body without making you sick. When you breathe in TB bacteria in the air, your body produces a response to fight these bacteria, preventing them from growing. People with latent TB infection often do not feel any symptoms and are unable to pass the TB bacteria on to others.
Tuberculosis: if TB bacteria become active in the body and multiply rapidly, the person will go from latent TB infection to TB disease. When you have TB, you can easily spread it to others. For this reason, people with latent TB infection are often prescribed treatment to prevent the development of TB.
What causes tuberculosis?
The main cause of tuberculosis is the bacterium Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MTB – aerobic bacteria) which is spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. After entering the human body, the MTB bacteria do not immediately become active, but will stay in a dormant state – this is the incubation period.
Most of the time, this stage does not show any symptoms and is not contagious. However, when tested, the patient can still receive a positive result for TB bacteria even though there are no signs of the disease. If detected early and treated promptly at this stage, the risk of tuberculosis will be significantly reduced.
Research has shown that one in ten people infected with MTB will develop the disease. The bacteria that cause the disease are usually not active right away but will wait until the body’s immune system is weak and can no longer fight off, especially in the elderly and people with HIV.
This also means that each person’s incubation period will be different, once the TB bacteria are active, they will develop from the lungs and travel through the bloodstream to other organs of the body.
Factors that increase the risk of tuberculosis
Anyone can get TB, but there are certain factors that can increase your risk of getting it. These factors include:
Weak immune system
A healthy immune system usually successfully fights TB bacteria, but your body will not be able to defend effectively if your resistance is low. Certain diseases and medications can weaken your immune system, including:
- HIV AIDS
- Severe kidney disease
- Have some cancers
- Cancer treatment, like chemotherapy
- Use of immunosuppressive drugs such as corticosteroids, chemotherapy drugs
- Using certain medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease
- Very young or old age
Travel to or live in certain areas with high rates of TB
People who live or travel frequently to areas with high rates of TB and drug-resistant TB are at higher risk than others. These areas include:
- Eastern Europe
- Latin America
- Caribbean Island
Poverty and frequent drug use
Insufficient medical care: Poor countries are often at high risk of contracting TB
Use of stimulants: abuse of drugs and alcohol will make the immune system gradually weakened and make the body more susceptible to tuberculosis.
Tobacco use: Tobacco use significantly increases the risk of tuberculosis and death.
Working and living environment
Work in healthcare settings: when you work in places like hospitals, clinics, or clinics, you’ll be in constant contact with sick people. This increases the risk of being exposed to TB bacteria. When working in this environment, you should wear a mask and wash your hands frequently to greatly help prevent the risk of illness.
Living in prisons, shelters, mental hospitals, or nursing homes: there is a higher risk of contracting TB than other people. Because this is a crowded place, with poor ventilation, it is a favorable environment for bacteria to be released into the air and spread to people.
Living with someone who has TB: this is the case with the highest risk of getting TB because you will have frequent contact with someone who has TB. Therefore, the possibility of exposure to MTB tuberculosis bacteria will also be greatly increased.
Signs and symptoms of tuberculosis
During the incubation period, the patient may feel completely normal and not have any symptoms. The disease in this stage usually does not spread to others. After the disease has developed, symptoms will begin to become apparent.
The symptoms of TB will depend on where the TB bacteria are growing in the body. Tuberculosis bacteria usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis). Tuberculosis in the lungs can cause symptoms such as:
- Severe cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- Pain in the chest
- Coughing up blood or phlegm (sputum from deep inside the lungs)
Other symptoms of tuberculosis, include:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Weight loss
- Fever, chills
- Sweating at night
Symptoms of TB in other parts of the body will depend on the area affected. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it’s best to see your doctor for tests to help determine your condition.
Recognizing these signs of tuberculosis can help you become more aware of your health and from there you can take precautions to deal with the disease.
Top News hopes this article can help you learn more about the signs of tuberculosis and wishes your health is always good!
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