What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease mainly affecting the lungs, caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through the air when people with active TB cough, sneeze, speak or spit. Tuberculosis is one of the world’s biggest health threats, and can cause serious long-term health problems and even death if left untreated.
Symptoms of TB can vary depending on the part of the body affected, but usually include persistent coughing, fever, weight loss, night sweats, and fatigue. Other more severe symptoms include bloody sputum and chest pain. In some cases, people may experience no symptoms at all.
TB Causes & Risk Factors
The cause of TB is the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can live and multiply inside the body. The bacteria is spread when people with active TB cough, sneeze, speak or spit, and the airborne particles can be inhaled by others. The risk factors for TB include living in a country where TB is common, contact with a person who has TB, weakened immune system, and certain medical treatments.
Diagnosing and Treating TB
The diagnosis of TB is usually done through a variety of tests including chest X-rays, sputum tests, and skin tests, although in some cases additional testing may be needed. Treating TB is complex and requires a combination of drugs taken for at least 6 months.
Protecting Yourself from TB
The best way to protect yourself from TB is to get vaccinated and practice good hygiene. People with active TB should take medications as prescribed and avoid activities that can spread the bacteria. Additionally, it is important to inform your doctor if you have TB symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with TB.
Tuberculosis, Infectious Disease, TB Symptoms, TB Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosing, Treating, Protecting, Vaccination, Hygiene, Medication