Tuberculosis or TB Essay

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Tuberculosis or TB I. Introduction Print section Tuberculosis (TB), chronic or acute bacterial infection that primarily attacks the lungs, but which may also affect the kidneys, bones, lymph nodes, and brain. The disease is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a rod-shaped bacterium. Symptoms of TB include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, chills, and fatigue. Children and people with weakened immune systems are the most susceptible to TB. Half of all untreated TB cases are fatal.

In 1993 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared TB to be a global emergency, the first such designation ever made by that organization. According to WHO, one individual becomes infected with TB every
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Symptoms include coughing, night sweats, weight loss, and fever. A chest X ray may show shadows in the lung or fluid collection between the lung and its lining. If the bacteria are inhibited, rather than destroyed, the immune cells and the bacteria form a mass known as a granuloma or tubercle. In effect, the immune cells form a wall around inactive bacteria. As long as the immune system remains strong, the TB bacteria remain walled off and inactive. The tubercle gradually collects calcium deposits to form what is known as a Ghon focus. These initial tubercles in the lung usually heal, leaving permanent scars that appear as shadows in chest X rays. At this initial stage of TB, the disease does not progress, but bacteria may remain dormant in the body for many years. If the immune system becomes weakened, the tubercle opens, releasing the bacteria, and the infection may develop into secondary TB.

B. Secondary TB Print section In secondary TB, the formerly dormant bacteria multiply and destroy tissue in the lungs. They also may spread to the rest of the body via the bloodstream. Fluid or air may collect between the lungs and the lining of the lungs, while tubercles continue to develop in the lung, progressively destroying lung tissue. Coughing of blood or phlegm may occur. At this secondary stage, carriers of TB can infect others.

III. Diagnosis of Infection and Disease Print section Diagnosis of TB
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