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Tuberculosis
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Tuberculosis (TB)

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ASTHMA & RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Respiratory System

INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Bacterial

Tuberculosis (popularly known as "TB") is a disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It mainly infects the lungs, although it can affect other organs as well.

When someone with untreated TB coughs or sneezes, the air is filled with droplets containing the bacteria. Inhaling these infected droplets is the usual way a person gets TB.

One of the most dreaded diseases of the 19th century, TB was the eighth leading cause of death in children 1 to 4 years of age during the 1920s. As the general standard of living and medical care improved in the United States, the incidence of TB decreased. By the 1960s, it wasn't even in the top 10 causes of death among children of any age group.

But TB is making a comeback in the United States today - particularly among the homeless, those in prison, and those rendered susceptible because of HIV infection.

Tuberculosis (TB) - a life-threatening infection that primarily affects the lungs - kills nearly 2 million people worldwide.

TB is a global pandemic, fueled by the spread of HIV/AIDS, a lack of health services, and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), the bacterium that causes the disease.

TB spreads through airborne droplets when a person with the infection coughs, talks or sneezes. In general, you need prolonged exposure to an infected person before becoming infected yourself. Even then, you may not develop symptoms of the disease. Although your body harbors the TB bacteria, your immune system often can prevent you from becoming sick. For that reason, doctors make a distinction between being infected with TB, which causes no symptoms and isn't contagious, and having active TB, which makes you sick and can spread to others. You're most likely to develop active TB if you have an illness that suppresses your immune system - especially HIV/AIDS - were born in a country with a high rate of TB, or work or live in a long-term-care facility, such as a nursing home or prison.

 

 

 

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