Term Paper on Tuberculosis

This essay has a total of 699 words and 4 pages.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis


TB is a disease that can cause a serious illness and can damage a person's
organs. Every year more than 25,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with TB
disease. That's only a fraction of the amount of people who carry the
Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a rod-shaped
bacterium. TB is spread through the air by carriers of the germ. People who
breathe the same air can become infected with the TB germ. People who do work
around or with people with the TB disease should take medicine. TB infection
means that the person has the TB germs but they are in an inactive state. When
TB germs enter the body, the immune system builds a wall around them. While TB
germs are inactive, they cannot cause any damage. These germs can stay alive
for many years in these walls and eventually break out. At this time TB is
active then it becomes TB disease. It can now affect the system's organs. A
person can have TB disease shortly after being infected with TB germs if the
person's immune system is weak.

TB can attack any part of the system. The lungs are the most common area of
attack. People with the TB disease have one or more of the following symptoms:
a cough that hangs on, fevers, weight loss, night sweats, constant fatigue, and
loss of appetite. A person with the TB disease in the late stages will cough up
blood streaked sputum. People who have Active TB disease usually only have mild
symptoms. There are three tests to diagnose TB disease. One is the Tuberculin
Mantoux PPD skin test; two is a Chest X-ray which is given after the Skin test
is positive; three Sputum Test reveals if TB germs are in thick liquid a person
coughs up. The Tuberculin Mantoux PPD skin test is given by placing a substance
called PPD Tuberculin under the top layer of the skin with a very small needle
and syringe. The doctor will inject the needle into the skin which will only
feel like a slight pen prick. A few days later the skin test reaction will be
read by a trained health worker. If the skin around the prick israised and it
is bigger or the same size as a pencil eraser then the person is likely to have
been infected with TB germs. This does not mean he or she has TB disease. You
should always retest yourself even if the first test was negative for a few
reasons. If your immune system has been weakened, then your immune system may
not react to the skin test. The test also might have been taken too early after
infection because the blood has not been infected.

Inactive and Active TB can be treated by various ways. If you work or are
around people with Active TB you should take medicine. Just because you are
infected with TB germs doesn't mean you have TB disease. Having inactive TB
will not hurt you now but you could develop TB disease later in life with out
taking appropriate medicine. By taking medicine now you can wipe out the germs
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