Pulmonary tuberculosis

Written By The HealthMeth Team - Updated On Wednesday, February 17, 2021 7:00 PM

Pulmonary tuberculosis

Tuberculosis , also known as tuberculosis, occurs as a result of exposure to a slow-growing bacterium known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, [1] and it is known that TB disease affects the lungs ; However, it may affect other parts of the body. [2] Like the brain, kidneys, and spine. [3]

People with TB can be classified into two types. They are both active and latent, and they can be treated with antibiotics . According to the World Health Organization, about a quarter of the world's population is infected with tuberculosis, but only 5-15% of them are infected with active tuberculosis, and the rest are carriers of the germ. Tuberculosis, but they are not sick and cannot transmit the disease, [4] and according to WHO's 2018 statistics, which included all countries and all age groups; An estimated 10 million people have contracted TB around the world. Of them, 5.7 million adult men, 3.2 million adult women, and 1.1 million children. [5] Although tuberculosis affects people of any place and age, the percentage of adult infections compared to children reached 90%. 2 males: 1 females, [6]It is reassuring that TB is treatable and preventable. [4]

Causes of pulmonary tuberculosis and risk factors

As mentioned previously, tuberculosis is caused by infection with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, [7] which is spread through the air, similar to what happens with influenza viruses or colds. The infection occurs as a result of breathing in droplets containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis and resulting from coughing, sneezing or talking to someone with the disease, although the mechanism of transmission is simple However, their occurrence requires intense friction and contact with the affected person. For example, if it is a family member or coworker, the mycobacteria is a germ that is difficult to catch. They do not grow on surfaces, nor are they transmitted through shaking hands with people, or sharing food and drink with an infected person, [8] and in fact the likelihood of a person contracting TB varies according to his or her health status; However, there are many groups that are considered more vulnerable to contracting TB, among which we mention the following: [9]

  • People with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
  • Children under five years old.
  • People who have had TB within the past two years, or have not been properly treated when they have had TB in the past.
  • People with other diseases such as diabetes, which makes it difficult for the body to fight infection.
  • Drug user.
  • Alcoholics.

Signs and symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis

Before talking about the symptoms and signs of TB, it must be noted that TB is of two types, which can be explained as follows: [3] [10]

  • Latent TB: , also known as TB is not active , which means the presence of TB bacteria inside the body without any activity or symptoms remember, is not considered contagious.
  • Active tuberculosis: , which is the type that causes symptoms, and is contagious to others, and depending on the fact that TB bacteria may infect different parts of the body, the symptoms of infection vary according to the affected site, and include symptoms of pulmonary TB, which is more common. :
    • Cough that lasts for three weeks or more.
    • Chest pain.
    • When coughing blood or phlegm from deep in the lungs.
    • Other symptoms, including: general weakness or fatigue, weight loss, lack of appetite, chills, high temperature, or night sweats .

Diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis

When diagnosing tuberculosis, the doctor depends on knowing the person’s history and symptoms, in addition to conducting a clinical examination that includes examining listening to the lungs, and detecting the extent of the presence of swollen lymph nodes , and he may also resort to conducting revealing tests. The presence of TB bacteria, regardless of the type of TB; For example: the tuberculosis test through the skin or blood, and the results of these tests may take a long time, up to six weeks or more, to appear, and to find out whether the bacteria are active or not, the patient is subjected to a sputum examination, and chest X-rays It is worth noting that all people with TB, both types of TB, need treatment. [11] [12]

Treating pulmonary tuberculosis

The duration of treatment for tuberculosis varies depending on its type, as latent TB needs treatment for a period of between three to nine months, and active TB is treated by taking many medicines for a period of six months or more, and in general the treatment plan that is developed by the doctor precisely to treat TB disease It includes at least four types of drugs that can be modified based on laboratory test results. [9] With regular treatment, many people show improvement and cure, and some may suffer from drug-resistant TB that can be treated with other treatment plans that include the use of antibiotics for longer periods. [13] The improvement in TB patients is indicated after two to four weeks after the start of treatment, and TB treatment has benefits that benefit the patient and those around him, and can be explained as follows: [14] [15]

  • Reducing the likelihood of reinfection. Especially the difficult types to treat.
  • Reducing the possibility of spreading the infection to others; As this infection is not transmitted from a person, it adheres to the correct and appropriate treatment for two weeks or more.

Prevention of pulmonary tuberculosis

To avoid contracting tuberculosis, it is recommended that the TB vaccine (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Vaccine) known as (BCG Vaccine) be given to infants and adults under the age of 35 years, and for people over the age of 35 years, there is no evidence to support the successful use of the vaccine for this age group , [16] In addition to taking the vaccine, there are many preventive tips that are followed by reducing the risk of contracting tuberculosis. Although TB ​​does not spread through food, drink, utensils, or marital practice, following these tips is considered A preventive measure is preferred to be followed to avoid the risk of infection, and among the most prominent of these preventive advice are the following: [17] [18]

  • Avoid contact with people who have TB with its active form.
  • Use preventive drugs in cases considered to be at high risk of developing TB.
  • Maintain a clean living environment.
  • Follow general safety measures that prevent the spread of infection, including:
    • Wash your hands well and often.
    • Use tissues or cover the mouth and nose with the inside of the elbow when sneezing or coughing, or wearing masks.
    • Being alone with personal tools such as towels, cups and eating utensils and not sharing them with others.

To learn more about TB, you can read the following article: ( TB disease ) .

To learn more about the types of TB, you can read the following article: ( Types of TB ) .


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