Tuberculosis or TB is one of the deadliest ailments of the world. As statistics say, nearly one-third of the world’s population is infected with the virus of TB. In 2015, approximately 10.4 million people across the world were registered with TB disease, and more than 1.8 million TB-related deaths are reported globally. Worldwide, TB is the second most deadly disease.
Introduction to Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis or TB is a potentially fatal syndrome that usually affects the lungs. Caused by a bacterial microorganism called tubercle bacillus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis, TB, if left unattained or untreated, can take life. Though TB is completely curable; but due to a lack of idea about the Symptoms of Tuberculosis and possible treatments, each year, hundreds of thousands of people are dying because of this lung-affected disease. Learning more about Tuberculosis Symptoms and Signs can help you recognize the disease at an early stage and prevent it before it claims your life.
Doctors usually make a clear distinction between two distinct types of tuberculosis infection and they are:
- Latent TB: In the case of Latent TB, the bacteria remain inactive in the body. They show no signs and symptoms and this type of TB is also not contagious. But if left unattained, it can become active and start affecting nearby people.
- Active TB: In the case of Active TB, the bacteria reveal loads of symptoms and can easily be transmitted to others.
Causes of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is usually caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that spread from an infected patient to a healthy one through microscopic droplets emitted into the air. However, even though tuberculosis is contagious, it is not easy to catch. The transmission of this disease usually occurs when an active form of tuberculosis coughs, sneezes, spits, laughs, or sings leave untreated.
Other risk factors for TB include:
- Low socioeconomic status
- HIV infection
- Crowded living conditions
- Immune system weakening diseases
- Migration from one place to another with a high number of cases
- Infection from health-care workers
Symptoms of Tuberculosis
Most people with TB don’t have any kind of symptoms, while some have excessive signs. However, the signs and symptoms of TB usually vary from person to person, on the basis of the severity of the disease. However, the TB bacteria or Mycobacterium tuberculosis mostly affects the lungs, and can cause common symptoms like:
- A ghastly cough that persists three weeks or longer
- Unknown pain chest
- Difficulty in breathing
- Coughing up blood
- Mucus from deep inside the lungs
- Weakness or chronic fatigue
- Rapid weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of phlegm and muscle
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Chills and fever
- Excessive sweating at night
Lastly, by taking some simple measures like avoiding working with TB-infected people, wearing a mask, keeping mouth and nose covered while outing will help to minimize the risk of affecting by TB virus.