Tuberculosis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatments Essay

1531 words - 7 pages

Introduction
Tuberculosis is among the fatal diseases that are spread through the air. It’s contagious, meaning that it spreads from one infected individual to another, and at times it spreads very fast. In addition to being contagious, the disease is an opportunist infection as it takes advantage of those with weak defense mechanism, and especially the ones with terminal diseases like HIV and AIDS. Tuberculosis is therefore among the major concerns for the World Health Organization due to its contagious nature (World Health Organization 1).
Although Africa and other developing nations lead in the number of those infected with tuberculosis, the infected population in the world is ...view middle of the document...

When one inhales air coughed out by TB patients, the infection is referred to as primary tuberculosis. In most instances, most people get infected with primary tuberculosis, but since its severity is minimal, there are higher chances of recovery (CDC 17). The infection rate of primary tuberculosis depends on the strength of an individual’s immune system.
Since the disease can be rather opportunistic, it can remain in an individual’s system for quite a long time, and as long as the immune system is strong, chances of infections will be less. However, once the body weakens, either because of other infections, and especially terminal diseases, the bacteria become active and infectious.
The disease can be transmitted mainly through the air, but there are other means of being infected with TB. Alcohol and drug abuse are some of the popular means in which infection can occur and since the drugs weaken the immune system, the spread of the ailment can be rather fast. Terminal diseases like HIV and cancer reduce the immune system and this promotes propagation of the disease into an individual’s body system.

Risk Factors
The risk factors for contracting the disease vary according to age, health conditions, or location. The elderly people and infants are likely to get TB mainly because their immune systems are weak. As an individual grows old, the immune system weakens and this can increase chances of being infected with tuberculosis. Those with other diseases like cancer and AIDS are also at a high risk of contracting the virus.
Maintaining prolonged close contact with infected individuals may also cause the spread of the disease. This is because the primary infections can be frequent, making the immune system to weaken as it fights with these minor infections (CDC 17). Malnutrition is another risk factor in the spread of tuberculosis. Without proper nutrition, the immune system weakens and this affects the system’s reaction to minor infections.
Congestion and unventilated areas are other risk regions as they concentrate the bacteria, which make the area to have highly concentrated bacteria. Other than congestion and malnutrition, the attack rate can be influenced by the number of individuals in the population, suffering from terminal sicknesses. Poverty is also another risk factor because it does not only affect the environment and living conditions, but also health and nutrition. This is the reason for high attack rates in developing countries.
Symptoms
Since the disease affects the lungs, the most common symptom is coughing. Coughing and other symptoms rarely occur in the primary stage of the infection. In most cases, they manifest after the infections have reached a severe rate (Jordao and Otilia 8). The coughs can be classified into two categories, including the normal ones that are coupled with secretion of mucus and those that are stained with blood. The blood in the coughs is caused by infections in the lungs and other parts of...

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