Tuberculosis is a serious infection that causes harm to the lungs. People with poor immune system are more liable to get tuberculosis. With proper treatment at the right time, tuberculosis can be treated. However, when you don’t get treatment at the right time, tuberculosis can be fatal.
The course of treatment is usually six months. It is extremely vital for curing tuberculosis. The people who are affected with tuberculosis, not only them but also their close contacts and family members need to be checked for the disease including children and babies.
WHAT CAUSES TUBERCULOSIS
Tuberculosis is an infection which is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Lungs get affected by tuberculosis but it can even affect other parts of the body. It happens when tuberculosis bacteria gets transmitted in the air by some patient and gets inhaled by someone else.
In most of the cases, people with healthy immune system do not get affected by the bacteria. The bacterium of tuberculosis multiplies in lungs and makes the immune system to pull back and fight. Mild infection does not show up apart from having a small scar in the lungs as indicated by the X-rays.
The people who have frail health cannot stop the invading bacteria from spreading further into their bodies. After six to eight weeks, the symptoms of tuberculosis show up.
SYMPTOMS OF TUBERCULOSIS
The first symptom of the disease infection is a cough lasting for over three weeks. What starts as a dry cough slowly continues for months. There can even be blood stained phlegm or sputum in a cough that comes out.
Various other symptoms include- high fever, being unwell, pain in chest, loss of weight, sweats, poor appetite, becoming breathless etc. Even though tuberculosis is very common in developing countries, it causes a lot of deaths than any other infectious disease.
Poor nutrition, poor general health, poor housing, AIDS and even insufficient healthcare facilities are leading causes of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis can be diagnosed with chest X-ray, tuberculosis skin test, sputum test etc.
TREATMENT OF TUBERCULOSIS
There is a standard treatment for six months for tuberculosis. Combination of antibiotics containing isoniazid, pyrazinamide, rifampicin and ethambutol is consumed for initial two months. For another four months, the patient needs to consume rifampicin and isoniazid combination. But this all depends on the type of tuberculosis and the parts affected.
The follow-up appointments are very important to avoid relapse.