The Facts About Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, or TB, has its roots in the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This type of bacteria will attack the lungs, though TB can go after other body parts, such as the spine, kidneys, or brain. When it is not treated, it is always fatal.
The Spread of TB
This bacteria is airborn between individuals. When the disease presents in the lungs or throat, the infected person coughs, speaks, sneezes or sings, and the disease is spread to others. It is important to understand that TB is never spread by:
- Sharing utensils or cups
- Shaking hands
- Sharing a toothbrush
- Touching beds and toilet seats
- TB Disease and Latent TB Infection
TB bacteria doesn’t necessarily make everyone ill. This is why two separate TB-related conditions have been identified: latent and diseases
Latent TB Infection
The TB bacteria can live in a body with no symptoms. Most people who breathe in the bacteria are able to fight the growth of the bacteria, and never develop TB symptoms. Latent TB sufferers never know they have it, and they cannot spread it to other people. However, a latent bacteria can become active at any point, which leads to an active infection, and a disease that can be spread.
The TB bacteria will become active if the body is no longer able to stop the growth. When the bacteria are active, the person is identified as having TB disease. The disease becomes spreadable and the person suffers from the symptoms of TB. Some people get TB disease right away, others may get it years later, when the body can no longer fight off the disease, due to other health issues.
Symptoms of TB The symptoms include:
- Pain in chest
- Cough lasting more than three weeks
- Blood or sputum in cough
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Night sweats
The Vancouver Home Health Care Agency can help you and your family work through tuberculosis symptoms and treatments.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.