Disease Analysis: Tuberculosis

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Tuberculosis TUBERCULOSIS Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which usually affects the lungs and the respiratory tract. People infected with the disease cough or sneeze to release the pathogen in the air surrounding them, which is then inhaled by other people close to them. Although it is a curable and preventable disease yet, it is categorised as the second greatest infectious killer worldwide (the first being AIDS). Symptoms of active TB commonly include coughing with heavy mucus (or sputum), weight loss, high grade fever, weakness and severe chest pains (Mayo, 2009). These symptoms are usually mild for many months following the activation of the TB bacteria in the body, and this is one reason that leads to delay in care for tuberculosis patients and hence, high death rate by this infection. Moreover, it also results in transmission of the bacteria to other people by the infected person. In many countries, the good old sputum smear microscopy is used to diagnose TB (World Health Organization, 2012). In this technique, sputum samples are examined to check for the presence of M. Tuberculosis. However, in recent years, the reliability of these tests has become doubtful as they only detect certain strains of the bacterium, not all. Diagnosis of TB in children also tends to be difficult and this explains the high number of their deaths due to this infection. With the advancements in medical science, the
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