Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial infection that typically affects the lungs, which is why it is also called pulmonary tuberculosis. The treatment for tuberculosis is a long process, but it is often a successful one.
An overview of tuberculosis can help administer better care to TB patients.
1. What are the signs and symptoms of tuberculosis?
Some of the most common symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis are a cough that lasts for over 3 weeks, fever, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss, blood in sputum, chest or upper back pain and shortness of breath. If you have latent tuberculosis, you may not show any of these signs despite being infected.
2. Who is at risk of contracting tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is a highly communicable disease that can spread by maintaining close contact with other infected individuals. Untreated tuberculosis is especially common in the more crowded and overpopulated countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. A weak immune system, drug or alcohol abuse, overcrowded working or living conditions, and other medical conditions such as HIV, cancer or diabetes, make you susceptible to contracting TB.
3. What is the treatment for tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is commonly treated with the use of antibiotics. Depending on the type of TB infection, the doctor may prescribe more than one antibiotic. In certain cases, the treatment period can last up to 2 years.
4. What are some other things to keep in mind about the treatment?
It’s crucial to take your medication regularly and as directed by the physician. Along with the treatment, it’s important to maintain proper hygiene and to avoid close contact with others who may be at risk of contracting the infection.
5. What is the best way to care for someone with tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis can take a toll on the physical and emotional well being of the patient. It is important to be supportive during the process of treatment and to ensure that the patient takes their medication with regularity.
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