Tuberculosis is a disease which affects the lungs, is high contagious and does not exhibit any signs during the initial stages of the infection and can remain asymptomatic for very long. The disease becomes active when the immune system has been weakened at which point it may be fatal with up to fifty percent of those infected dyeing. Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria whose scientific name is mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacterium in most cases attacks the lungs but can infect any other body part such as the kidney.
The bacterium that causes tuberculosis is spread through the air from one person to another and the bacteria gets to the air through the coughs, sneeze from a person with tuberculosis. The people who are in the surrounding place may take in the bacteria along with the air and become infected.
Research shows that about one third of the world’s population suffers from latent TB meaning they have been infected but the bacterium has not caused visible damage to the lung tissues. This could be due to the fact that the body’s immune system is strong and can be able to fight the bacteria to stop it from multiplying and infecting more tissues. A person with the latent TB does not exhibit any symptoms, feel healthy and cannot transmit the bacteria to other people. It is however worth noting that in the event that the bacteria becomes active and multiply then the symptoms will manifest.
Those who have the tuberculosis ‘disease’-a term used when the TB infection has multiplied and caused visible symptoms- can transmit the infection to others. The TB disease normally develops after about two weeks of infection and in some cases can take years in the individual and surface later when some other condition has weakened the immune system of the said person. Tuberculosis is a treatable disease with rare cases of drug resistance.
Those at Risk
Those mostly at risk of suffering from Tuberculosis are young adults in their most productive age, those infected by the HIV virus and TB is more likely to suffer from tuberculosis attacks. Those with conditions which impair the immune system are also vulnerable. Cigarette smokers are highly endangered due to the fact that tobacco smoke has a negative implication on the respiratory system.