About Tuberculosis (TB)

By | May 31, 2007

1.   Tuberculosis is one of the oldest diseases known to effect humans.  It is cause by a bacteria.  The most common way for the bacteria to be spread is through the aur in tiny droplets caused by coughing, sneezing or speaking.

2.   Early symptoms of tuberculosis can include weight loss, fever, night sweats, and loss of appetite. Symptoms may be vague, however, and go unnoticed by the affected person. For some, the disease either goes into remission (halts) or becomes chronic and more debilitating with cough, chest pain, and bloody sputum.

3.   Famous people who have had Tuberculosis include; Judy Collins, Louella Parson, Marie Curie, Vivien Leigh, Adolf Hitler, Alexander Graham Bell, H.G. bell, Ulysses S. Grant and Eugene O’Neill.

4.   The common tests for TB are:
A. The Mantoux tuberculin skin test shows if a person has been infected.
B. A chest x-ray is obtained if the Mantoux skin test shows that a person has been infected. The x-ray shows if any damage has been done to the lungs.
C. A sputum test shows if there are TB germs in a person’s lungs. Sputum is phlegm from deep inside the lungs.

5.   It is estimated that 10 to 15 million Americans have a Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI). For most of them, the germs will never become active.  While the infection is inactive they can’t do damage nor be spread on to others.  Many don’t even know that they are infected.

6.   In May 2007 the United States Center for Disease Control placed a Georgia man under quarantine for a dangerous form of the Disease. This was the first time since 1963 that a quarantine order had been issued in the US.  Earlier in the month, under a strong suggestion not to travel, the man took two trans-Atlantic flights.


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