Tuberculosis - course of the disease, course, treatment
Tuberculosis is not only a respiratory disease. This is a general term for diseases caused by the tubercle bacillus. These diseases are contagious: the bacteria are carried in the patient’s sputum and spread when he sneezes or coughs. They get inside other people when they are breathed in or swallowed. Since these bacteria are also very hardy and can survive for a long time in dried mucus and dust, everything within the reach of the patient soon becomes infected. The most common form of tuberculosis is pulmonary tuberculosis, since the lungs in adults are the most common entry point of bacteria in the body. But tuberculosis can also affect bones, joints, skin, lymph nodes, larynx, intestines, kidneys, testicles, prostate gland and nervous system.
Systemic tuberculosis is transmitted with milk from cows with bovine tuberculosis. This disease causes tissue destruction in the affected foci.
Course of the disease
Symptoms depend on which organ is affected. In all cases, the bacteria rupture and then destroy the organ and its functions.
In pulmonary tuberculosis, the infection goes unnoticed at first, and the symptoms resemble a bad cold or flu. There are cough, fever, chest pains are possible. This then often disappears, and a hardened, healed area, called the primary complex, is formed. Many people have signs of this primary complex without further problems.
A secondary infection occurs when bacteria spread throughout the body. The patient coughs up blood, suffers from chronic cough and experiences pain when breathing. He loses his appetite and weight, sweats heavily and experiences constant fatigue.
Tuberculosis - Treatment
Tuberculosis is treated for a year with the antibiotic streptomycin and a number of other drugs. In surgical intervention, there is rarely a need, although fresh recovery, a healthy diet and plenty of rest are still necessary for a complete recovery.
For anyone who does not have natural immunity and can often face this disease, such as social workers and medicine, BCG vaccine is recommended. Every HIV carrier must be vaccinated.
After the 1950s, when an immunization program was introduced in the United States and many European countries, the incidence of tuberculosis dropped dramatically. By 1990, the number of new cases of the disease had decreased to below 1 per 100,000 population.
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