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Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a serious lung infection. This occurs when contaminated bacteria are shared from one person to another. Some people dealing with other medical conditions may be prone to develop tuberculosis. Cases of the illness seem to be on the decline as treatment options improve and provide promising results. An important part of treatment includes having a strong enough immune system to combat bacteria that is in the form of tiny droplets. They can be passed along in the air through sneezing and coughing. Treating this infection can be tricky since medication could make the body develop a resistance against it.

There are different ways a doctor may diagnosis tuberculosis. One type can make a person ill quickly when the bacteria are present. A person can feel sick in a matter of weeks or the infection may develop several years later. Another form of TB is a form that is considered not contagious, but a person could be caring the bacteria that causes it and not experience any symptoms. These symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, chest pain, fatigue, prolonged cough lasting weeks at a time, pain while coughing or breathing, night sweats, and etc.

Because symptoms vary it is important for anyone with concerns to see their doctor. Sometimes another medical condition can be the cause or it could be another condition undiagnosed. Researchers continue to learn about this condition to understand potential causes. There are drug users that contract it through the use of dirty needles. Some HIV patients are risk for developing TB. The bacteria that helps spread HIV could help progress TB in some patients. At one point TB was resistant to different drugs. It still has the ability to be resistant to a number of painkillers, but researchers are reviewing how the bacteria survive and what other drugs can provide better results.

People with diabetes, cancer treatment, or deal with diseases such as Crohn’s or suffer rheumatoid arthritis are at risk for developing TB. People who travel to certain areas such as the Middle East may also be at risk. Smokers are also at risk with some symptoms similar to other related diseases smokers can develop (bronchitis, lung cancer, etc.). A person can be tested for TB through x-rays and blood testing. Sometimes additional tests may be necessary because an initial diagnosis can be incorrect.

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