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Tuberculosis: Prevalent and Deadly

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a very prevalent, very contagious, and very deadly disease worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one third of the population is infected with TB. (Centers for Disease Control Data and statistics) While less common than it has ever been, tuberculosis has seen an upsurge in the last three decades directly related to the AIDS epidemic, but also as a result of the development of many multi-drug-resistant strains. This is of particular concern in developing nations hit hard by AIDS infections, but it is also evidenced in an upswing in the United States. (Nester, Anderson and Roberts)

Because of the increase of cases both here and worldwide there has been a concerted effort to limit the number of new infections and to control the spread of it by managing the most at risk populations. Nationally this would include prison populations, people with AIDS, and immigrants from countries where there is a high prevalence of TB. Other risk factors include other immunocompromised groups, including those in hospitals, and poverty. The efforts to combat this disease, via education, vaccine administration, and proper sanitation controls have decreased the spread dramatically. Nationally the decrease began in 1993 (Nester, Anderson and Roberts) and internationally the decrease began in 2010. (United Nations ).

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis. The bacterium spreads in the air when a person with the infection coughs or sneezes. There are many cases of people with latent TB infection but who may eventually develop the disease and therefore become vectors for contagion. Weakened immune systems greatly increase the chances for developing the disease, which explains why ...

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... even the latent infection with medication, and isolating those who are contagious have done more to control the spread of this oft fatal disease than have one particular vaccination.

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control. Tuberculosis. March 2012. 11 March 2012 .

National Network for Immunization Information. Tuberculosis. March 2005. March 2012 .

Nester, Eugene, et al. Microbiology: A Human Perspective. 7th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012.

"Tuberculosis." Human Diseases and Conditions. 1 March 2012 .

United Nations . "United Nations News Service." 11 October 2011. United Nations News Centre. 12 March 2012 .
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