What Do You Know About Tuberculosis?
Many people think tuberculosis (TB) is no longer a threat, but it’s still a leading killer worldwide. One-third of the world’s population (about 2 billion people) is infected with Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB.
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How do you get TB?
TB is an airborne disease
Who is at risk for developing tuberculosis in this country?
People with HIV and compromised immune systems are most at risk. Other groups at risk for TB include the urban poor, intravenous drug users, the homeless, prison inmates, those born overseas, and health care workers.
What makes TB different from other infectious diseases?
Many infectious diseases cause illness very quickly. With TB, a person can become infected with the bacterium, but not become sick with TB disease. This is called latent TB infection.
What are the symptoms of active TB?
Symptoms of active TB can depend on what part of the body has been infected.
Weight loss, Nights sweats, Loss of appetite and cough are all possible symptoms.
How is TB diagnosed?
Besides the skin or blood test, your doctor will look at your medical history and x-ray of the lungs to check for signs of active or old/healed tuberculosis. The doctor may also take samples of morning sputum and satin it to check for evidence of the TB bacterium.