Tuberculosis is an airborne infectious disease caused by different strains of mycobacterium commonly referred to as mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is a very widespread infection and among the most lethal diseases. As a matter of fact, every year, over one million people die from tuberculosis infections or other tuberculosis related infections. Generally, tuberculosis is a lung infectious disease. However, tuberculosis can affect other body parts although these instances are very rare.
Tuberculosis is spread from one individual, who has an active tuberculosis infection, to another through the air, and hence it is an airborne disease. When the tuberculosis infected person cough or sneeze, the tuberculosis mycobacteriums are released to the air which are inhaled by the other peoples and thus lead to spread of the disease. Unfortunately, most tuberculosis does not have distinct symptoms during the initial or dormant stage, latent tuberculosis, although they test positive in tuberculosis test. Nevertheless, one in every ten people with latent tuberculosis eventually develops to active tuberculosis that if medication in not administered leads to over fifty percent of those infected.
Actually, about a third of the world’s population is believed to have been infected with the mycobacterium tuberculosis. According to research, every year, about one percent of the world’s population is infected with the disease. For instance, an approximation of fourteen million cases of chronic tuberculosis was reported in 2007. In the year 2013, nine million new cases of active infections globally, and an approximate of one million associated deaths was reported. However, most of these infections and deaths were reported in developing continents like Africa and Asia.
Although during latent stage tuberculosis has no symptoms, in active tuberculosis infection has several distinct symptoms which includes, chronic cough which in most case has some blood spots, night sweats, fever, and high rate of weight loss. However, tuberculosis infections on other body parts involve a wide range of symptoms.
Active tuberculosis diagnosis majorly relies on the chest x-rays, radiology and microscopic investigations as well as body fluids microbiological culture. Latent tuberculosis diagnosis depends on the tuberculin blood tests or skin test. Tuberculosis medication is quite challenging and needs multiple administrations of antibiotics over a long-term. Social contacts are as well scrutinized and if necessary treated. The common and major challenge in tuberculosis medication is the antibiotic resistance. In fact, in most cases, tuberculosis develops into drug-resistant infection which becomes a great challenge to the medical doctors. Tuberculosis prevention depends on vaccinations by use of Bacillus Chalmette-Guerin vaccine and screening programs.