Diseases & Conditions

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis: Symptoms, Transmission & Prevention

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (M. Tuberculosis) is a bacterium that is capable of causing, as its name says, tuberculosis (TB) to the human beings. This disease is known for starting to grow in a important organ of the human body: the lungs.

It continues to spread cold or flu through the droplets expelled into the air of a person with infectious TB, in order to attack or infest other part of the bodies or even other bodies.

How does Mycobacterium causes tuberculosis?

When someone inhales this bacterium, it settles in the lungs where it starts growing and evolving. And if it is not treated as soon as possible, it can spread to other parts of the infested body, such as: the kidneys, spine, and brain.

It can be very dangerous and lethal for the life of a person, so that is why this disease must be treated with time, in order to stop its spreading as early as possible.

Studies made for the University of Iowa Environmental Health and Safety ensure that, one-third of the human beings that are around the planet have the bacterium, but with the peculiar case that not all of them are infected with it. In fact, with the studies that were made, it was discovered that only 5 to 10 percent of the people who carry the bacterium will be the ones of actually developing a bad and contagious case of active tuberculosis in their lives.

It is also known that people who feel that their immune system is weakened are more capable of developing TB more easily. For example, people diagnosed with cancer or HIV have high risks of getting infested with TB.

Symptoms & Tansmission

The symptoms and signs of transmission of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis are:

  1. bad and lingering cough
  2. coughing up blood
  3. pain in the chest
  4. fever, fatigue
  5. loss of weight

Although, a person can have the bacteria, but not necessarily have the symptoms.

TB is difficult to notice! Experts ensure that, for example:

  • shaking hands,
  • drinking from the same glass,
  • sharing any food,
  • infection by a person diagnosed with TB who is coughing,
  • will not be enough to transmit the disease.

Whilst, living with, seeing constantly or sharing things in a daily basis with a person who is infected with the bacterium is most likely to be infected with it. Additionally, being in closed, crowded places without any good air circulation with individuals who are infected with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, increase in great numbers the possibility of catching the disease.

It is also possible to catch the infection when the bacterium can pass through breaking in the skin or the mucus membranes to then get spread by the air until it gets to infect some other body; nevertheless, it is more common of being caught by being transmitted person to person via the inhalation.

How to diagnose?

In order to diagnose and detect the existence of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a patient’s body, these tests must be done:

1)Manteaux tuberculin skin test (TST), which consist of injecting in the patient’s body, under the skin of the arm, a liquid called tuberculin and will generate a reaction within 72 hours in case of detecting the disease;

2)A blood test, which measures the immune reaction to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a patient;

3)Several tests of nucleic acid amplification, which are generally used to confirm the existence of the M. tuberculosis;

4)Demonstration of typical pathology by seeing granulomas from tissue samples, which are also considered as a diagnostic in the correct clinical setting;

5)Chest X-ray, which permits to the doctors to look for the changes that the tuberculosis produces in the lungs; 6)Sputum culture, which is a specimen of mucus and saliva that is coughed up from the lungs.

How to prevent it?

Preventing the acquisition of this disease is not very difficult, just by following the next steps you will be reducing the exposure of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis in your life:

Taking care of your health is a good manner of preventing it, just by eating well-balanced and nutritive food and fruits in a daily basis, sleeping regularly at least seven or eight hours and doing exercises from time to time;

Ensuring that you keep your home and office well ventilated with a good circulation of fresh air will help to protect you from any infected or expelled droplets;

Sneezing or coughing into a tissue and recommend to your closest family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers to do the same; asking your doctor to receive the TB vaccine, which is well recommended by TB Alert because it guarantees a prevention of the disease for a period of time rounding the 15 years, and also talk with your doctor about the repercussions and benefits that it could have.

Is Mycobacterium tuberculosis fatal?

In the past, TB had killed one out of every seven people in United States and in Europe, according with the data recollected by the CDC; nevertheless, this has changed in a good manner, because nowadays, with the medicine that have been appearing proportionally with the scientific discoveries in the field of medicine, there are many ways of stopping this disease.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a very serious disease that have taken a lot of victims in the past, when there was not any knowledge about combating or curing this disease from a person’s body. It attacks slowly from the lungs to the rest of the body damaging every inch of organs that are in its way; destroying with a slowly but very lethal technique every part of the body.

Antibiotics against Mycobacterial tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a deadly bacterium, as it was already mentioned, that can kill thousands of people, but with the good medication that exists in our days, including antibiotics isoniazid and rifampin, the good treatment for it is practically in our hands.

That is why, when we start noticing the symptoms of the appearing of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis the most conscious thing to do is to visit our doctor and start fighting against that disease from the beginning.

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