TB or tuberculosis is progressing at a rapid rate now-a-days. This disease has no age limitation and can affect any person. Today it has been found that about 1/4th of the total world’s population have been suffering from this deadly disease. Just like many other diseases it is very necessary to know the disease at its early stage. Even today TB is considered as global health problem and disease after cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Before looking at the symptoms of TB, let us know the cause behind this deadly disease. TB or tuberculosis is caused by mycobacterium germ that is air borne. That means the germ enters in the body through air. Generally, people suffering from TB sneeze, cough or spit, in turn they transmit the mycobacterium germs in the air.
Any person can cause tuberculosis once he/she inhales small number of the TB bacteria. This disease can even infect children and they are mostly infected due to the adults in the family who are fighting against the disease. The TB patients with positive acid-fast bacilli status can spread TB to at least 15-20 people every year.
The TB bacteria after entering in the body accumulate in lungs and multiply to spread to various parts of the body through lymph nodes or blood vessels. So, if not diagnosed at an early stage, TB bacteria can spread to various other body parts such as kidney, brain, lungs, bones, gastrointestinal tract, lymph nodes and many others. However, the organ that is most often affected by the mycobacterium tuberculosis is the lungs.
Also, the symptoms of TB are not seen readily. This is because initially the TB germs are dormant in the body for many years. After some time they form a cell wall just as a very thick layer of wax. Slowly they affect the immune system of the body and then attack showing the symptoms.
The most common TB symptom which helps in the detection of tuberculosis is extreme and continuous coughing for more than 3 weeks. This coughing has phlegm in it and it might be mingled with blood. Some of the other most occurring symptoms of TB include difficulty in breathing, decreased appetite, body weakness, weight loss, night sweats without any physical activity, malaise and fever for more than a month in the later stages.
However, it is not necessary that the above mentioned symptoms can only indicate TB, it can also be due too any other illness such as asthma, bronchitis and lung cancer etc.
What is Tuberculosis Test?
The best way to examine TB in children is by performing tuberculin test. This test shows whether any child is infected with tuberculosis or not. But today doctors mostly recommend Monteux test. In this an injection is given usually on the left forearm. The child’s skin is monitored after 48 ~ 72 hours to measure the swelling area that occurs.
However, there is no need to worry as treatments of tuberculosis are available. Patients with tuberculosis are advised to take drugs for 9 months or more regularly.