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Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that most often affects the lungs, as well as the skin, lymph nodes, eyes, bones, kidneys, urinary organs, etc.

The causative agent of the disease is Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It was first isolated in culture by Robert Koch in Germany in 1882, after which it received the name “Koch’s stick”.

The main route of transmission is airborne from a sick bacterioexcretor.

Tuberculosis incidence in Russia according to 2007 data, it is very high: 82.6 per 100,000 adults and 16 per 100,000 children. Koch’s wand – the causative agent of tuberculosis – meets us at every step. According to some reports, more than a third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis.

Infected does not mean sick!

However, infection does not mean disease. The body of a healthy person has a number of protective barriers and is practically invulnerable to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Only in 5-10 people out of a hundred the pathogen can reach the goal. Once in the body, Mycobacterium tuberculosis penetrate into the lymph nodes and begin to multiply there slowly. But a normal immune system copes with the disease without clinical manifestations. In this case, often a person develops a long-term, and sometimes lifelong immunity to infection. In the event that the body has had contact with mycobacterium, they speak of infection.

Features of the human immune system are such that mycobacteria that once enter the body during infection are not completely destroyed. Some of them retain their viability, but are under close control of immunocompetent cells. If for some reason the immune system weakens, mycobacteria can cause tuberculosis.

The risk of getting sick increases when health is undermined by starving food, constant stress, alcohol, smoking, and drugs. The risk of falling ill increases in the presence of certain chronic diseases, especially AIDS.

Therefore, the bulk of tuberculosis patients in our country are people leading an asocial lifestyle, arriving in places of deprivation of liberty. No wonder tuberculosis has always been considered a socially dependent disease.

But the problem of malnutrition, wear and tear, stress now also applies to people with a good income.

This is important: symptoms of tuberculosis

Tuberculosis symptoms

The symptoms and course of tuberculosis differ significantly depending on the form, the affected organ, age and individual characteristics of the organism.

The most common are the following signs:

  • the appearance of weakness, fatigue, fatigue, loss of strength;
  • loss of appetite, weight loss, pale skin, anemia (anemia);
  • prolonged rise in temperature in the evening and at night up to 37-37.5 degrees Celsius, profuse night sweats;

Pulmonary tuberculosis – the most common form of the disease – usually manifests itself:

  • persistent cough, shortness of breath
  • hemoptysis

In other forms of TB, the diagnosis is usually made as a diagnosis of exclusion, when other causes of ill health have been ruled out.

Prevention and treatment of tuberculosis

Prevention and treatment of tuberculosis

Non-specific preventive measures include: healthy lifestyle, quitting smoking and alcohol, proper balanced nutrition, tempering procedures.

Specific prophylaxis is BCG vaccination.

According to regulatory documents, it is carried out for 3-7 days, but in practice more often during the first 24 hours of a baby’s life. During the injection, a strain of live but weakened mycobacteria is introduced. The human immune system inactivates, but does not kill them completely.

That’s why immunity to tuberculosis is called non-sterile: it lasts as long as the pathogen exists in the body.

It happens that the immune system copes with Koch’s sticks completely, then the person again becomes susceptible to tuberculosis.

Thus, BCG vaccination does not provide 100% protection.

Therefore, despite the almost universal coverage of BCG vaccination of the population, adults must undergo a fluorographic examination once every 1-2 years to detect tuberculosis in the early stages, and children must have a Mantoux test once a year.

In some cases, when infected, a phthisiatrician (a doctor who treats tuberculosis) prescribes prophylactic anti-tuberculosis drugs.

The treatment of tuberculosis is very long, at present mycobacteria are often insensitive to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Until now, tuberculosis is considered a fatal disease. About 3 million people die every year from complications of tuberculosis worldwide.

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