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Tuberculosis TB - Essay Example

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1. Introduction It is one of the major global health concerns that is significantly impacted by the external environmental conditions. It is also second most common cause of death in under-developed and developing nations. It is highly infectious and though curable, it can be fatal if untreated…
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Download file to see previous pages It is essential that it is diagnosed early and treated as it could worsen fast, leading to death and most importantly, faster transmission to larger number of people who inadvertently come in contact with the person with tuberculosis. 2. Pathophysiology of the disease Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis or M Tuberculosis which was discovered by Robert Koch, a German scientist in 1882 (Frieden et al., 2003). They are of two types: active and inactive. The active bacteria attacks body parts and enters body through air. Infected person can easily transmit it to others through breath, sneezing, spits etc. The body part that is attacked is damaged gradually till it becomes dysfunctional, ultimately leading to death. For example, in pulmonary tuberculosis, person inhales the bacteria when he/she comes in contact with TB patient, which then enter blood stream through lymphohematogenous route and damage lungs. Elkington et al., (2011) believe that production of enzyme called MMP-1 is considerably increased in the presence of M Tuberculosis. This is path breaking discovery that can significantly influence the treatment. The inactive M Tuberculosis is fought off by the body immune system and therefore cannot spread the disease. Even after years, it can only become active if the body immunity system is weakened (Davies, 1994). 3. Types of tuberculosis Though bacteria can attack any part of body like lungs, lymphatic system, central nervous system, bones, joints, genitourinary system etc., the hematogenous pulmonary tuberculosis and urinary tract tuberculosis are more widespread. Of the two, pulmonary tuberculosis is most common cause of death in the developing and under-developed countries. 4. Symptoms The regular symptoms of the disease are (Golub & Mhan, 2005): 1. Persistent dry cough which could blood in sputum 2. Weight loss 3. High temperature and sweating at night 4. fatigue Urinary tract tuberculosis often does not show normal symptoms of tuberculosis but can be confused with other infections of the urinary system (Wang et al., 2003). Its symptoms include: 1. Pyuria or presence of pus in urine 2. Hematuria or blood in urine 3. Back and suprapubic pain 4. Nocturia develops strong urge to urinate at night 5. Types of tests/ diagnosis The most common test for the disease are (Martinson, 2011): 1. X-ray of lungs 2. Sputum test 3. Culture test for TB bacteria 4. Injection of protein on the skin and the positive test would result in swelling For urinary tract tuberculosis 5. CT scan and MRI are useful in showing abnormal growth in urinary tract, uterus and fallopian tube 6. Intravenous urography could detect single calyx or calyceal distortion, ureteric strictures, bladder fibrosis in advance cases 6. Causes The bacteria infection makes it a highly contagious disease and many factors can become leading cause (NHS, 2011): 1. Children and older people who are exposed to the persons with tuberculosis 2. HIV/AIDS as it weakens the immunity system and makes people vulnerable to the infection 3. Crowded place where it is easy to breathe in the TB bacteria like prison 4. Poverty and non-hygienic conditions as these factors highlight lack of nutrition and environment that is conducive to attract the infection. It is for these reasons that the disease is more prevalent in developing and under-developed countries of South-East Asia, Africa etc. 7. Environmental factors/ risk of tuberculosis The external environment and the immunity ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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