Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a bacterium that causes the infectious illness tuberculosis (TB). The bacterium typically infects the lungs, but they can also harm the spine, brain, kidney, and other organs. TB can be lethal if not adequately treated.
What kind of TB infection are there?
There are two types of TB infection: latent and active. Having a latent TB infection means a person has the bacterium, but neither the disease nor any symptoms appear. When the immune system of the person who is infected is able to keep the bacteria under control, latent infection happens. Years can pass without the TB germs displaying any signs of the disease or symptoms. According to the World Health Organization, 10% of people with TB infection will get sick or spread the disease at some point in their lives. A substantially increased risk of illness exists in those with weakened immune systems, such as those who use tobacco or are malnourished, diabetic, or HIV-positive. The TB disease, however, can occasionally appear later. The TB bacteria may reawaken if the immune system becomes compromised by a different illness or medicine. The TB disease and its associated symptoms are brought on by activation. Within weeks of the initial infection, active TB disease may manifest in some people.
What symptoms and indicators are associated with tuberculosis?
Active TB infection symptoms or indications include: a cough that lasts for three weeks or more cough that contains blood or sputum chest pain Loss of energy and weight lack of appetite Night sweats, chills, and a fever
How is the TB disease spread?
By sneezing and coughing, people with active TB can spread the bacterium through the air. Droplets in the sputum or saliva allowed the bacteria to spread. Tiny droplets of the germs are discharged into the air when someone with active TB coughs, sneezes, talks, or spits, and those nearby can breathe them in. Through the bloodstream, the germs can move from their starting point in the lungs to other areas of the body. A tiny number of germs are all that are required to start an illness. Because the bacteria are not present in their saliva or sputum, people with latent TB infections cannot spread the disease.
Exactly how is TB identified?
Chest radiography (x-rays), sputum smear microscopy (sputum is studied under a microscope), mycobacterial culture, phenotypic drug susceptibility testing (a technique to assess if a person has drug-resistant TB), and nucleic acid amplification testing are common procedures to identify active TB (a method to determine if a particular virus or bacterium is present).
The interferon gamma release assay (a test of the person's immunological reactivity) and tuberculin skin test may be performed to assist identify latent TB.
Is TB treatable?
TB can be adequately treated with a mix of medications. It's crucial to take the prescribed medications exactly as directed by the doctor. The tuberculosis germs may develop drug resistance if you skip doses or merely take a portion of your medication (forming a drug-resistant TB strain). Most TB cases don't require hospitalization for treatment. However, patients who need more medical attention may be admitted to the hospital and given a stay in an airborne isolation room.
What exactly is drug-resistant TB?
TB strains that have become resistant to a single or group of medications are referred to as drug-resistant TB. Conventional therapies are unable to control these TB strains. For instance, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is resistant to at least the anti-TB medications isoniazid and rifampin. There are now some TB strains that are immune to practically all anti-TB medications. These are referred to be TB with widespread drug resistance.
Should occupational concerns include tuberculosis?
Employees at work risk of contracting TB from direct contact with people who are actively ill or by breathing in TB-contaminated air. All workplaces should be aware of how TB might spread, even though the danger of workers catching TB is higher in healthcare and prisons where inmates with TB may be treated or imprisoned. A general prevention strategy would involve educating staff members about TB and enticing them to seek medical attention when TB-like symptoms are observed. The implementation of a TB control program is crucial in professions with high risk. A TB control program should have policies and procedures for the quick identification, segregation, and treatment of people who have infectious TB or who are suspected of having it, as well as for appropriate controls like the creation of negative-pressure isolation rooms and a respiratory protection program, as well as for staff adoption of routine procedures and extra safety measures. Infected people should be housed in private rooms in a medical facility. Negative air pressure and sufficient ventilation are required in the isolation chamber to reduce the concentration of pollutants therein. It is necessary to immediately exhaust the air from the isolation chamber outside. Other further measures could be implemented, such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) or high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtering."""