Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. . Tuberculosis commonly affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It spreads from person to person through the air, when people who are infected with TB infection cough, sneeze or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. It is a disease that can be cured with proper treatment. India has the highest TB burden according to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics for 2011, giving an estimated incidence of 2.2 million cases of TB (India) out of a global incidence of 8.7 million cases.
Tuberculosis most commonly affects the lungs. Common symptoms of active lung TB are:
Lymph nodes , bones and joints, digestive system, nervous system, bladder and reproductive system. This is known as extra pulmonary TB. Symptoms of extra pulmonary TB vary according to organ/system affected. Extra pulmonary TB is more common in people with a weakened immune system, such as those with HIV.
The main cause of TB is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a small, aerobics, non motile bacillus. TB spread when a person with an active TB infection in their lungs coughs or sneezes and someone else inhales the expelled droplets containing TB bacteria.
Risks factors: The most common risk factor associated with TB is HIV and other conditions that impair the immune system.
Other factors include:
Symptomatic Diagnosis: Coughing for more than 2 weeks, loss of weight, loss of appetite, fever and night sweats, fatigue are common symptoms of tuberculosis. If someone has these symptoms, one should seek medical advice to check whether it is tuberculosis.
For TB of extra pulmonary sites. Diagnosis includes:
Tuberculosis is a treatable and curable disease. WHO-recommended Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course (DOTS) strategy was launched in Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) in India. Treatment for tuberculosis (TB) depends on which type of category (category I,II,III) patient is included , although a long course of antibiotics are used.
In DOTS during the intensive phase of treatment a health care provider or health worker watches as the patient swallow the medicine. During continuation phase, one week medicine in a multiblister combipack is issued to the patient. The consumption of medicine in continuation phase is also checked by health worker. It is recommended by the WHO in an effort to reduce the number of people not appropriately taking antibiotics. The recommended treatment of new-onset pulmonary tuberculosis, as of 2010, is six months of a combination of antibiotics containing rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide and ethambutol for the first two months and only rifampicin and isoniazid for the last four months. Where resistance to isoniazid is high, ethambutol may be added for the last four months as an alternative. If multiple drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is detected, treatment with at least four effective antibiotics for 18 to 24 months is recommended.
Prevention of TB is through vaccination. The only currently available vaccine as of 2011 is bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), while it is effective against disseminated disease in childhood, confers inconsistent protection against contracting pulmonary TB.