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Things To Know About Tuberculosis

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Things To Know About Tuberculosis

Pulmonology | by CMRI | Published on 03/09/2021

What is Tuberculosis?


Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a widespread infectious airborne disease. Generally, the TB bacteria affects the lungs but it can also spread and reside in other body parts such as kidneys, brain, and spine. There are two TB-related conditions- Latent TB infection(wherein inactive TB germs are present in the body which does not make the person feel sick) and TB disease (wherein TB germs are actively spreading and multiplying and destroying body tissues). If either of the two is left untreated, it can be fatal. It is a leading cause of mortality in India.


What are the symptoms of Tuberculosis?


The general symptoms of tuberculosis include feeling sick and weak, weight loss, loss of appetite, chills, night sweats, and fever. If the lungs are specifically affected, the most common symptoms are chest pain and prolonged coughing (sometimes with blood or sputum) that lasts for three weeks or longer. TB infection in other body parts shows varied symptoms depending upon the location and severity of the condition.


CMRI is one of the Best hospitals for TB Treatment where the best lung specialist provides treatment and helps one get healthy disease-free lungs.


How does tuberculosis get transmitted?


Mycobacterium tuberculosis packages itself in an airborne particle (a droplet nuclei) of about 1-5 microns in diameter to be able to travel in the air from a diseased person to a healthy individual. People with laryngeal or pulmonary TB disease generate these infectious droplet nuclei in the air by sneezing, coughing, singing, or shouting. These tiny TB particles tend to stay in the air for several hours depending upon the environment. Transmission takes place when a healthy person who is nearby the patient inhales the TB bacteria and their lungs get infected. As the lungs and throat get infected, the chances of spreading the infection to others are more. TB found in other body parts is generally not infectious.  

TB is not spread in case of surface contact or by sharing personal items of the deceased individual.


Risk factors of Tuberculosis:


The chances of developing a TB disease can be found more in people who have been recently infected with TB bacteria or those who have some underlying medical condition responsible for a weakened immune system. These include people who have immigrated from places with high rates of TB, with organ transplants, HIV infection, substance abuse, severe kidney disease, Silicosis, and others or children below 5 years of age with a positive TB test. About 5-10% of people who have not got themselves treated for Latent TB infection will surely develop a TB disease at any time in their life. 


How do you get tested for Tuberculosis?


Tuberculosis infection can be detected by performing skin or blood tests. In the Mantoux Tuberculin Skin test, the patients are administered tuberculin (a purified protein derivative of the bacterium) in small amounts into the skin of their lower arm. They are asked to return to the doctor after 48 to 72 hours to check for any reaction. Blood tests are performed to measure the levels of leukocytes and other blood components to know how the immune system of the patients is responding to the TB-causing germs entering into the bloodstream.


A positive result of the test for TB infection does not give information regarding the patient's progress to TB disease. Chest X rays or testing of sputum samples can help the doctor know if the patient has developed TB disease.


How is tuberculosis disease treated?


Tuberculosis can be treated by taking certain prescribed drugs for 6 months to a year. If the patient does not have the medications as per the planned course, misses the doses, or has it at the wrong time, or the wrong dose then it’s more likely that TB infection worsens and does not get treated. It is because the TB germs have developed resistance to those drugs. Thus it is important to get treatment from the Best TB doctor in Kolkata at CMRI to get the best treatment for removing infection of tuberculosis.


Is there any vaccine for Tuberculosis?


Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) is a vaccine for TB that is given as a single dose in many countries for preventing TB infection in childhood.


Contact now the Best Lung Specialist in Kolkata at CMRI for more information.