Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis that mostly affects the lungs and has also been located in other organs such as the brain and kidneys.
Tuberculosis is found in humans and animals
Tuberculosis is contagious and can be contracted through inhalation of droplets from a person coughing or sneezing.
Asia and Africa have the highest reported number of people infected with TB but Tuberculosis is found world wide.
Tuberculosis is contracted by inhaling the bacteria from droplets when a person coughs, sneezes, laughs, or spits.
Humans can also contract Tuberculosis by consuming milk that has not been pasteurized and other dairy products from an animal that has been infected.
Tuberculosis can be found in cattle and spreads easily to other animals or pets that come in contact with them.
The most common type of Tuberculosis is found in the lungs and is called Pulmonary TB. The symptoms of Pulmonary TB are
Heavy night sweats
Two types of TB exist, latent TB and active TB therefore treatment vaires. People who have latent TB lack symptoms and cannot pass the disease on to others. Those with active TB or TB disease will experience symptoms and can pass the disease on to others.
A skin test will be performed to diagnose TB. If a skin test comes back positive medications will be used to help prevent the infection from becoming Tuberculosis disease.
Medications can be used to fight Tuberculosis and the process takes several months to complete
There is a higher risk of contraction of Tuberculosis if you work in a hospital or other medical facility where TB is common.
If you are traveling to another country educate yourself about health risks in that area
Avoid contact with animals that are infected with TB and try not to breath the same air as the infected animal
Livestock such as cattle are the most common type of animal to infect humans with TB. Symptoms in animals that could be infected with TB are
Lack of appetite
Swollen lymph nodes
Chronic mastitis (infection of the udder)
If an animal is infected isolate them and avoid contact or breathing the same air
People with a weakened immune system are at a higher risk of contracting TB