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Tuberculosis Essay

2336 words - 10 pages

Over the past century, tuberculosis has taken the lives of more than one hundred million people. Today, roughly two billion people are infected with the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis and five to ten percent develop active tuberculosis within their lifetime. All in all, Tuberculosis resides to be one of the most fatal diseases in the world and is the top ranked killer amongst bacterial diseases. Almost two million people pass away from the infection each year (Furlow, 2010). Approximately thirteen percent of people that are infected with tuberculosis also have HIV, they are closely associated with one another (Tomford, 2010).
Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is caused by ...view middle of the document...

The other form of Tuberculosis, Active, is when the bacteria becomes active within the body and the bacterium multiplies and the individual’s immune system cannot fight off the bacteria resulting in the person becoming sick. Active tuberculosis can be spread to others that come in close contact with the infected individual (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), many people who have latent tuberculosis may never develop active tuberculosis. Some people are effected with active tuberculosis soon after being in contact with the infected individual, other people get sick years after being exposed when their immune system becomes weak from another reason not correlated to TB. Weaker immune systems have a much higher precedence to getting active tuberculosis than those with normal immune systems due to the lack of immunity (2012). A person that is effected with latent tuberculosis also has a higher chance of getting active tuberculosis if they have HIV, other health problems that makes for a harder time for the body to fight off infections like diabetes, alcohol or drug abuse, or not correctly treated for tuberculosis in the past (Lombardo, Swart &Visser, 2012).
The bacteria that causes tuberculosis is spread through the air when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings clouds of infected droplets are spewed into the air and an unaffected individual nearby breathes in that air and may become infected. It only takes one droplet to lead to a new case of tuberculosis. TB is not spread by shaking someone’s hand, sharing food or beverage, kissing, and sitting on the same toilet seat as another or sharing toothbrushes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Common symptoms of active tuberculosis include but are not limited to: a cough that persists for more than three weeks, chest pain, coughing up blood or sputum, weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever and night sweats (Tomford, 2010).
According to Tomford (2010), “Tuberculosis is caused by a group of five closely related species, which together form the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex: M. tuberculosis, M.bovis, M.africanum, M.microti, and M. canettii. M. tuberculosis is responsible for the vast majority of TB cases in the United States” (p.4).
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), there are two kinds of tests that are used to conclude if a person has been infected with Tuberculosis bacteria: the tuberculin skin test and blood tests. A positive skin test or blood test only shows that a person has been exposed with Tuberculosis bacteria, it does not tell what stage of tuberculosis they may have. In order to confirm the person has active tuberculosis more tests, such as a chest x-ray and a sample of sputum, are needed. The Tuberculin skin test also known as the Mantoux is done by injecting a small amount of fluid called tuberculin into the skin...

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