Home » Health

Tuberculosis: What Is TB?

Aug 18, 2007
The recent airplane flight of a Georgia man infected with tuberculosis has raised many new questions and concerns about the disease. The Center for Disease Control (cdc.gov) serves as a great resource for explanation of this disease.

According to the CDC, tuberculosis, commonly referred to as "TB," is a disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacterium usually attacks the lungs but can also attack the kidney, spine and brain as well. If not treated properly, TB can be fatal.

Those with active TB can spread the disease through the air by coughing or sneezing; however, not everyone infected with TB becomes visibly sick. Those infected with latent TB show no signs of illness and cannot pass the disease to others. Still, latent TB may become active TB if not treated.

According to the CDC, there was a sharp decline in TB cases during the 1940s, as scientists discovered effective treatments. In the '70s and '80s, however, TB control efforts were neglected, resulting in a spike in TB cases from 1985 to 1992. Cases of TB steadily declined after 1992, but the disease remains a current problem within the United States.

In 2003 more than 14,000 cases of TB were reported. Additionally, 2007 marked an all-time low in the number of TB cases reported, but also showed a slow-down in the decline of TB cases.

The CDC suggests that you should be tested for TB if:
*You have been exposed to a person known to or suspected to have active TB;
*You have an HIV infection or other condition elevating your risk for TB;
*You are from an area where active TB is common (most Latin American countries, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia);
*You inject illegal drugs; or
*You live somewhere in the United States where active TB is more common (homeless shelters, migrant farm camps, prisons or jails and some nursing homes).

A simple skin test or blood test will reveal if a person is TB-positive. These skin tests can be easily performed at the health department or at most doctors' offices. The procedure includes injecting a small amount of testing fluid called tuberculin directly under the skin of the forearm. Within 2-3 days swelling may occur where the tuberculin was injected, and the patient should have a doctor or nurse measure the swelling.

If the patient is unaware of past encounters with an infected person, other tests will be performed to determine whether the TB is active or latent. Chest x-rays, phlegm tests, blood tests and urinalyses may be necessary.

The CDC assures us that TB can almost always be cured with the proper medicine. Several different medications will kill the TB bacteria, and multiple other medications will prevent the bacteria from developing resistance to treatment.

After TB treatment, patients will be able to carry on with their normal daily lives, although they should continue to avoid contact with others while still contagious. Fortunately, TB medications usually do not have any permanent side effects.

Further information on Tuberculosis and efforts to prevent the spread of the disease can be found through AccessMyLibrary (www.accessmylibrary.com), the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and the American Lung Association (www.lungusa.org).
About the Author
Charlotte Beulow is a contributing writer for Access My Library. AccessMyLibrary.com is a service of Thomson Gale. Best known for its accurate and authoritative reference content as well as its intelligent organization of full-text magazine and newspaper articles, the company creates and maintains more than 600 databases that are published online, in print, as eBooks and in microform. Visit Access My Library AccessMylibrary today.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 119
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources