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Tuberculosis: Prevalent and Deadly Essay

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a very prevalent, very contagious, and very deadly disease worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one third of the population is infected with TB. (Centers for Disease Control Data and statistics) While less common than it has ever been, tuberculosis has seen an upsurge in the last three decades directly related to the AIDS epidemic, but also as a result of the development of many multi-drug-resistant strains. This is of particular concern in developing nations hit hard by AIDS infections, but it is also evidenced in an upswing in the United States. (Nester, Anderson and Roberts)
Because of the increase of cases both here and worldwide there has been a concerted effort to limit the number of new
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It also explains why it is such an overriding concern in hospitals and large, concentrated populations.

The primary symptom is often a noticeable long-term cough. It lasts more than three weeks and may begin dry, but eventually becomes phlegm-filled. If a blood vessel bursts, the cough may contain bloody sputum as well. Chest pain, spasms and breathlessness are often signs that accompany advanced cases of the disease. Other symptoms may include weight-loss, gradual at first, but eventually severe. Fever, night sweats, fatigue and general malaise are all indications as well.

While M. tuberculosis infection and disease is primarily associated with the lungs, it can also infect bones, brain, and major organs. These complications are more prevalent with advanced disease, and are often fatal. Pain and joint destruction, meningitis, kidney or liver disease, and cardiac tamponade are the often-fatal results from lack of treatment. These complications from extended disease are not the only serious ones, however. Lung infection alone may result in a long list of serious thoracic sequelae. There are parenchymal, airway, vascular, mediastinal and pleural complications that are direct results of the infection even before it has spread or become systemic. These can result in lifelong impairments with breathing and with immunosuppression.

These complications are often the result of weak or weakened immune systems, whether as a result of age, the very young and the very
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