Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a germ called mycobacterium tuberculosis that is spread from person to person through the air. Latent Tb lives but does not grow in the body and is not contagious. Where as, Active TB grows in the body and is very contagious. They both have similarities when it comes to symptoms. Such as, chest pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, coughing of sputum, etc. Only test can diagnose whether or not a person has Latent or Active TB. Doctors take x-rays, sputum stain, sputum cultures and skin and blood test to figure out the diagnose.

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  1. This project covers active and latent tuberculosis, the two types of TB. TB is a disease of the lungs (or brain, spine, or kidneys) and it’s caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Inhaling the expelled droplets from a cough or sneeze of a person with an active case of TB causes infection. However, a person with a latent case of TB is not contagious. A small amount of TB bacteria is present in their body, but the body’s immune system is able to control it. Symptoms of active and latent TB differ: active TB usually causes severe symptoms (chest pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, chills or sweats, coughing up sputum or blood), while a person with latent TB usually has milder symptoms and might not realize they have TB until testing is done. Tuberculosis testing is a bit complicated, because most of the tests used to confirm active TB do not find latent TB. Chest x-rays, sputum stain, and sputum culture are all effective tests for finding active TB, but latent TB does not show up on these tests. However, the TB skin test and blood test work for finding both active and latent TB.

    Jovonna did a great job on this project. Her illustrations made it easy to visualize the difference between active and latent TB, and her essay was well written. I appreciated that she included a brief discussion of treatments for active vs. latent TB patients. Well done, Jovonna! Thanks for sharing this project.

    Liliana Vonnahme

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