Tuberculosis (also known as "TB") is a disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis which infects white blood cells. It mainly infects the lungs, although it can affect other organs as well.
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, they can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain.
TB in the lungs or throat can be infectious. This means that the bacteria can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious.
People with active TB disease are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day. This includes family members, friends, and co-workers.
Some of the barriers that TB has to fight to get through are cilia and mucus which line the whole respiratory system. Mucus traps dust and microbes, which are then carried away by the rhythmic beating of the cilia.
TB gets across these barriers when a person inhales the Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Cilia and mucus may manage to prevent some of the bacteria from getting through them, but most of the bacteria travel directly down to the throat and lungs where it can be the most injurious.
Some of the symptoms of Tuberculosis include:
Persistent coughing and producing sputum. If it is at an advanced stage, the sputum will contain blood. (Phlegm from deep inside the lungs causes this.) •
Loss of weight (Lack of appetite)
Weakness and fatigue (Physical or mental weariness)
Pain in the chest (Due to chronic lung damage.)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a survivor. It's been found in the tissues of ancient mummies. This bacterium is very difficult to kill inside...
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