What is Tuberculosis?
Medikoe Health Expert
Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. It is considered as the second biggest killer in the world. It is an airborne pathogen so it can spread through the air from person to person.
It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through the air when a person with TB (whose lungs are affected) coughs, sneezes, spits, laughs, or talks. TB is contagious, but it is not easy to catch.
Tuberculosis infection is of two types:
Latent TB: The bacteria remain in the body in an active state. They cause no symptoms and are not contagious, but they can become active.
Active TB: The bacteria do cause symptoms and can be transmitted to others.
A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or mucus, feeling weak or tired, weight loss, chills, fever, sweating at night and having no appetite. Tuberculosis of the spine may give you back pain, and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.
It can be diagnosed or checked by swelling of lymph nodes. The most common test for TB is a skin test where a small injection of PPD tuberculin, an extract of the TB bacterium, is made just below the inside forearm.
The injection site should be checked after 2-3 days, and, if a hard, red bump has swollen up to a specific size, then it is likely that TB is present.