World travel has become more commonplace and people are no longer destined to remain on a single continent. Travel’s ease and affordability has made the spread of disease easier. One of those diseases that is spread worldwide is tuberculosis (TB).
Description of Tuberculosis
Since ancient times Tuberculosis has been present, also known as Consumption. Despite current advanced medical screenings, diagnostics, and treatment methods, approximately one-third of the world’s population has been exposed and is infected with the organism (Mandal, 2014, para. 2). Becoming infected with TB usually occurs following close proximity with an infected person for a lengthy period of time.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by an infectious bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis is a rod-shaped slow growing bacteria that is hydrophobic. It was first isolated in 1882 by Robert Koch and identified as an infectious disease (Mandal, 2014, para. 8).
In active TB, any, all, or none of the following symptoms may be present: persistent cough, fatigue, weight loss, decreased appetite, fever, hemoptysis, and night sweats. In latent tuberculosis infections, the patient is not contagious and cannot spread the bacteria. Latent TB infection occurs when there is exposure but an immune response occurs which manages the bacteria by walling it off and causing it to be dormant in the body. If a LTBI is treated at this stage, a subsequent active TB infection can be prevented (Murphy & Bernardo, 2013, para. 5).
Mode of Transmission
Tuberculosis is transmitted via droplet contact, when someone with an active TB coughs, sneezes, talks, or laughs, very small droplets of saliva or mucous are expelled...
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...reatment regimen directly observed by a community health worker for at least the first two months. Other TB objectives of WHO include high-quality care for all with TB, reduce suffering and socioeconomic burden associated with TB, protecting vulnerable populations from TB, TB/HIV and multidrug-resistant TB, and to protect and promote human rights in TB prevention, care and control (WHO, 2015c).
Worldwide tuberculosis deaths each year are second only to HIV in number. There is an estimated need for eight million dollars annually to fund a full response to TB in low and middle income countries. More than fifty companies are involved in the development of improved TB diagnostics and there are fifteen vaccines currently in trials (World Health Organization Press [WHO Press], 2014). While the number of TB cases is decreasing, there is more work to be done.
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