Disease/Condition and its Effect on the Body System
Tuberculosis is a disease caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria primarily attack the lungs but the infection can spread to other body parts such as the kidneys, spine, and brain. Symptoms of tuberculosis are cough (possibly with blood and mucus), fatigue, and shortness of breath, fever, and pain in the chest. If the infection is not treated the bacteria can destroy the tissue of the infected organ and it may leave permanent disabling scar tissues. Tuberculosis bacteria are carried in the air and enter the body through the airway and spread by coughing. Even though the bacteria can be easily spread, catching the disease is pretty hard; to be infected one must be in close proximity with the infected person for a long period of time. It is more likely to be infected by family members or close friends than a stranger unless a person has a compromised immune system.
One third of the world's population is infected with tuberculosis, in 2012 an estimated 9 million people becomes sick around the world, and there are 1.3 million TB related deaths worldwide. Statistically countries with low economic backgrounds have a higher infection rate such as India and other East Asian countries. People who have emigrated from those countries to the United States develop the disease within 2-3 years of immigrating. In 2012 there are 9,945 cases that are reported in the United States (3.2 out of 100,000 people). More men ranging from 22 to 44 years of age develop the disease than women. Extra pulmonary TB is 10% to 30% more common among women and children. TB is the leading killer of people who are HIV positive, an estimated 1 out of 10 will be infected if they are exposed to the bacteria. TB can be fatal if it is not treated and the bacteria can become immune to the medication if the patient is not compliant with their medicine.
Rates of TB for different racial and ethnic population: (CDC Fact Sheet 2012)
• Native Americans/Alaska Natives: 6.3 cases per 100,000 persons
• Asians: 18.9 cases per 100,000 persons
• African American: 5.8 cases per 100,000 persons
• Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders: 12.3 cases per 100,000 persons
• Hispanics or Latinos: 5.3 cases per 100,000 persons
• Caucasians: 0.8 cases per 100,000 persons
TB has been present in the human population as early as 2400 BCE. Hippocrates identified it as “phtisis” around 460 BCE and it was the most widespread and fatal disease at the time. He encouraged other physicians to stay away from the infected people since it was so fatal their reputation as physician will only suffer and risk contracting the disease. Franciscus Deleboe Sylvius was the 1st to identify tubercules as a consistent characteristic in the lungs of TB patients in his work, Opera Medica 1679. In 1720, an English physician named Benjamin Morten hypothesized that TB could be caused by “wonderfully minute living creatures” and once...