Tb - Epidemiology and Nursing Role Essay

1789 Words Jun 20th, 2014 8 Pages
Tuberculosis: Epidemiology and Nursing Role

Tuberculosis has been a persistent threat to the human race as far back as Hippocrates (c.460-c.370 BC). Globally, tuberculosis has infected millions during waves, often killing scores of people at a time, and then receding giving it an almost supernatural quality (Daniel, 2006). In recent history tuberculosis has been recorded in all corners of the world, and currently infects one third of the global population. In 2012, TB was responsible for killing 1.3 million people, making it the second largest fatal disease next to AIDS. The purpose of this paper is to describe tuberculosis, explain contributing factors, describe the disease in relation to the epidemiologic triangle, and finally
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Complicating the issue of TB’s global spread, is the disease’s mutation into multi-drug resistant strains. The evolution of the bacteria is due to improper or incomplete treatment regimens. Due to TB’s ability to manifest itself in latent and active forms, there are two main sets of treatment options. Both must be strictly adhered to or the patient runs the risk of further infection and death. In terms of treating latent tuberculosis the goal is prevention and elimination. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are four standard regimens for treating latent tuberculosis. The first is a nine-month regimen of Isoniazid taken either once daily or twice a week. The second is a shorter regiment, six months, of Isoniazid with a smaller dose, yet also taken once daily or twice a week. The third regimen lasts three months and is a combination of Isoniazid and Rifapentine taken once a week. The fourth regiment lasts four months and is completed through daily doses of Rifampin (CDC, 2012).
The treatment for active tuberculosis is much more aggressive, is conducted in phases, and involves taking a combination of the drugs isoniazid (INH), rifampin (RIF), ethambutol (EMB), and pyrazinamide (PZA). The initial phase for the preferred regimen is 56 doses of all four medications taken for eight weeks. The preferred continuation phase is a regimen of INH and RIF taken in 126 doses over an eighteen-week period. There are

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