Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It can affect parts of the body like lungs, kidney, Spine, and brain. However, the bacteria usually attack lungs.
There are two types of TB – Latent TB infection and TB disease.
In latent TB infection, the bacterium lives inside your body but does not make you ill. This is because most people who inhale TB bacteria, their body is able to fight the bacteria and does not let it grow.
Patients with latent TB infection do not spread it to other people and exhibit no symptoms. However, such patients may develop TB disease if they are not treated for latent TB infection.
When the body’s immune system is not able to fight Mycobacterium tuberculosis, they start multiplying in your body. This condition is called TB disease.
Most people with latent TB infection never develop TB disease.
People with weak immune system are much more prone to getting TB disease than others.
Symptoms of TB disease
Most common symptoms of TB disease in the lungs are;
- Pain in the chest
- Bad cough with blood or sputum.
Other symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, chills, and fatigue.
The two primary risk factors of TB are:
Individuals with recent TB infection and individuals with medical conditions that make the immune system weak.
One can get infected by TB if up then comes in close contact with a TB patient.
Medical conditions like HIV infection, severe Kidney Disease, organ transplants, head and neck cancer, silicosis and diabetes mellitus make immune system weak, thus increasing the risk of TB.
- The first step in the prevention of TB is to prevent it from spreading from one adult to another.
- The second step used to prevent people with latent TB infection into developing TB disease.
- Vaccination is one of the most important steps in prevention of TB. A vaccine called bacillus Calmette-Guerin is the most widely used vaccine for TB disease. in many countries, it is given to children and infants as a part of childhood immunization program.