Tuberculosis(TB) is a bacterial disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacteria Tuberculosis and primarily affects the lungs. Tuberculosis is not as common as it once was in the United States, but because of HIV, AIDS, and forms of tuberculosis resistant to drugs and antibiotics, it has become slightly more common. Besides the United States, it is still a major problem in poorer countries without access to antibiotics; up to a third of the world’s population may have a form of tuberculosis, including latent TB, meaning that there are TB bacteria in the patient’s body, but it is not contagious and the patient has no observable symptoms.
Ultimately, as stated before, the Mycobaterium Tuberculosis (MT) bacterium causes TB. It spreads via airborne droplets from someone who is infected (e.g. when someone coughs or sneezes, you inhale the bacteria, where they settle and begin to thrive within the lungs. Once the MT bacterium enters your body, one of three things can happen. If it begins to grow in the lungs, the patient will fall ill with TB. If The MT enters your body, but remains as latent TB, you are not ill and have no observable TB symptoms. There is also the possibility of destroying the bacterium because of a strong immune system.
TB is a respiratory disease, meaning it is highly unlikely for someone to contract the disease through direct contact or sharing of items. If you have TB, uninfected persons in the immediate vicinity have a high chance of contracting it (e.g. co-workers, classmates, friends, family). Other risk factors include, in no particular order: smoking, alcoholism, having HIV or AIDS (HIV attacks the immune system, possibly turning latent TB into active TB), organ transplantation, having inadequate access to health care, having diabetes or a rheumatic disease, and using medications that suppress the immune system.
Once TB is active in your body, there are several noticeable symptoms. Overall, you may experience a fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, night sweats, sudden unexplained weight loss, and/or chills. Other symptoms specific to the lungs include chest pain from inflammation in the lungs, extended coughing, coughing up blood, pain when breathing and coughing, and a sore throat.
When you are infected with TB and it is active, the bacteria in the lungs multiply, usually causing pneumonia, and the infected patient will experience chest pain, as well as coughing that may brings up blood. With latent TB, when you breathe in bacteria, they get surrounded by white blood cells. If the white blood cells, called macrophages, contain the TB infection, bacteria remain walled off in a mass of granulation tissue produced in response to infection or inflammation, called granulomas. This prevents an active infection from occurring, and small scars form in the lungs where the bacteria are walled off. Immune substances released from the soft center of the granulomas eliminate most of the bacteria, although some...