Tuberculosis also knowns as TB is a highly contagious infectious disease that is caused by a bacteria called mycobacterium tuberculosis.
It usually attacks the lungs and can spread to other parts of the body like the brain and spine. Tb can only be transmitted through air droplets from speaking, coughing, sneezing, and singing—as opposed to shaking hands or other plain physical contact.
Humans are the only mammals that can contain a reservoir of mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis as scary as it may sound is a disease that can cause misery due to coughing up blood.
It can also affect the liver and kidneys which can lead to blood in the urine.
You Don’t Have To Feel Sick To Have Or Spread TB
Since the initial symptoms of TB may be mild, patients may not even realised they are infected.
Most tuberculosis infections don’t have symptoms, a patient may not evince symptoms but simply harbour the bacteria in their bodies, these are referred to as latent tuberculosis.
Is Tuberculosis Contagious?
Tuberculosis is a very contagious air bone disease. It can be transmitted merely by coughing, sneezing, spitting and other airborne transmission methods.
Unfortunately, some carriers of TB will not manifest any symptoms and will then unwittingly transmit the disease to others who will end up getting a full blown attack. In fact, TB is so contagious to the extent that dead bodies with tuberculosis can still transmit the disease.
It is best advised that anyone with TB should be quarantined in order to prevent the disease from further spreading.
That being said, while tuberculosis is highly contagious, it is also hard to catch. So, someone who has tuberculosis can be coughing in the face of one person for hours and that person will never catch it. Meanwhile, the next person may get it via one simple cough.
Symptoms of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis comes with some symptoms which include:
A rapid heartbeat
Night sweats and a fever
Swelling in the neck (when lymph nodes in the neck are infected)
Shortness of breath and chest pain (in rare cases)
Complications of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis can come with a large number of complications that don’t involve the lungs. They include:
1. Spinal Pain
Spinal pain tend to be the typical side effects of tuberculosis.
Meningitis is the swelling of the membranes that cover your brain. Tb could get complicated to become this.
3. Liver or Kidney Problems
Tuberculosis and the treatments can greatly affect both the liver and the kidney’s abilities to eliminate waste.
4. Joint Damage
Tuberculosis can lead to joint pain and damage that usually occurs in the hips and knees.
5. Heart Disorders
Tuberculosis can infect the tissues surrounding your heart, although it is rare. This can result to fluid build up and inflammation that can interfere with your heart’s ability to pump effectively.
Prevention Of Tuberculosis
Try as much as possible to avoid contacting a virus or bacteria, if you don’t catch it, it won’t get you sick. Tuberculosis is rather preventable. Stay away from tuberculosis. If you’re familiar with anyone who has it, avoid them until their drug treatment is complete or at the very least, don’t be in closed, small, stuffy rooms with them.
Endeavour to wear a face mask when you’re around someone with TB.