Health Corner: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection of the lungs. Over the past three years, tuberculosis has been consistently among the top 10 deadliest diseases primarily because of neglect and lack of information. Although rampant, TB undergoes three phases; the primary phase, the latent phase and the active diseases phase. Only the active disease phase is lethal.

Etiology: Tuberculosis is caused by Myobacterium Tuberculosis. Like most other lung invaders, Myobacterium Tuberculosis is an airborne bacteria which can be spread by droplets released when a carrier sneezes or coughs and can be readily contacted. It is also spread through forced respiratory activities such as singing and screaming.

Symptoms: Tuberculosis is naturally connected to incessant coughs with minimal yellow or green sputum at the onset, which might get worse as the infection ravages through the lungs. Anorexia, weight loss, early morning fever, hemoptysis and dyspnea are already clinical manifestations of Tuberculosis.

NB: In some cases, patients may remain asymptomatic.

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria. infected person

Complications: Tuberculosis is extremely lethal for immunocompromised patients, eg HIV patients.

Treatment: Drug-susceptible TB can be treated by using antibiotics. However, if badly treated, it develops into a MultiDrug-resistant TB which requires even stronger medications and chemotherapy. ExtensivelyDrug-resistant TB is rare and can be prevented by early diagnosis and treatment. Consult a TB specialist once you develop symptoms.

Lifestyle and home remedies: Early vaccination using the BCG vaccine, maintaining proper respiratory hygiene such as covering your mouth while sneezing and avoiding crowded areas especially in high-burden areas.

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