Tuberculosis Steam Project
What is Tuberculosis also known as TB?
It is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. It generally will affect your lungs but it can affect your other body parts as well. Persons with TB disease are considered infectious and may spread TB bacteria to others. If TB disease is suspected, persons should be referred for a complete medical evaluation. If it is determined that a person has TB disease, therapy is given to treat it. TB disease is a serious condition and can lead to death if not treated.If you don’t show symptoms you have what is known as latent Tuberculosis. TB bacteria can live in the body without making you sick. In most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria. If you have latent TB, the TB bacteria in your body are ‘asleep’. You are not ill and you cannot pass TB on to others. A person with latent TB infection, usually has a skin test or blood test result indicating TB infection, has a normal chest x-ray and a negative sputum test, has TB bacteria in his/her body that are alive, but inactive, does not feel sick, cannot spread TB bacteria to others • However, the bacteria might ‘wake up’ in the future, making you ill with active TB. The good news is that latent TB can be treated to prevent this happening. Very few people fall ill immediately after they breathe in TB bacteria. If you are in good health, your immune system – your body’s defence against illness – is likely to remove all the TB bacteria that you breathe in. If it is unable to do this, it may be able to stop you from becoming ill by forcing the bacteria into a latent (sleeping) state. The bacteria are still in your body, but they are not causing damage. However, latent TB bacteria can ‘wake up’ and become active in the future, making you ill. This can happen many years after you first breathe in TB bacteria. Latent TB bacteria are more likely to wake up if you experience lifestyle stresses or other illnesses that weaken your immune system.
When you have signs it is active tuberculosis. Some signs of active tuberculosis are as followed but not limited to: a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, a productive cough and or blood with the cough, and pains in the chest. TB is an airborne disease which means that you cannot get it just by touching someone that has it, or sharing common items with them such as utensils, toothbrush, shaking hands etc. You can get it by breathing in air particles someone has sneezed, or coughed that has the Tuberculosis disease in it. In addition to the symptoms, a person with active TB usually has a skin test or blood test result indicating TB infection, may have an abnormal chest x-ray, or positive sputum smear or culture, has active TB bacteria in his/her body, usually feels sick and may exhibit the symptoms above, may spread TB bacteria to others and needs treatment to treat TB disease .
If you have Latent Tuberculosis, you can take medication such as Isoniazid, Rifapentine, or Rifampin. It is not required to take any medications for latent Tuberculosis, but for active Tuberculosis, you need to go on a course of antibiotics that can help control your symptoms. The medications are the same as the latent but there is more that can be given to help as well.