Tuberculosis As A Infectious Disease

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that can harm any organ of the body, especially the lungs. Every year about over a million people die due to tuberculosis and even more are infected. A person in contact with an infected individual can easily put themselves at risks of getting TB. Due to the emergence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis infections began to increase more rapidly. A person with HIV has a weak immune system which is not able to fight infections such as tuberculosis. There are many ways to diagnose, prevent and treat the farther spread of this disease.
There are many ways to identify and diagnose the presence and severity of tuberculosis. One of the most common ways to test for TB
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Sputum tests may be required for testing if the chest x-ray reveals signs of TB.
Tuberculosis spreads by contagious airborne droplets that can be passed on easily through close contact with a person who has active or untreated TB. As a person coughs, sneezing, or does any sort of interaction it can release infectious droplets into the air. Once a person inhales the infectious droplet (bacillus), it settles in the upper airways. “Bacteria in droplets that bypass the mucociliary system and reach the alveoli are quickly surrounded and engulfed by alveolar macrophages, the most abundant immune effector cells present in alveolar spaces” (Knechel, 2009). These macrophages are a part of immune system that fights to destroy the mycobacteria to prevent infection. “The outcome is essentially determined by the quality of the host defenses and the balance that occurs between host defenses and the invading mycobacteria” (Knechel, 2009). If the alveolar macrophage fails to overcome the inhaled mycobacteria, the bacteria will replicate until the macrophage lyses. As the monocytes are attracted to the infection site, it then separates into macrophages and consumes the free bacilli. The mycobacteria then multiply within the macrophages causing it to become infected. The infected macrophages may then be transported to the lymph nodes where it can easily reach the blood stream. After two to three weeks of infection, the helper T cells are activated to bring back the immunes
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