Tuberculosis is a disease of infectious nature, which does not know the differences in the field, race and age. The symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis in women, men and children are very similar to each other and, above all, should force an infected person to see a doctor immediately.
Who is at risk?
In a prosperous society, there is an opinion that tuberculosis is a disease that affects only drug addicts, people with an uncertain place of residence and criminals. And those who belong to the "normal" category of citizens cannot be infected with it. In fact, as practice shows, pulmonary tuberculosis does not distinguish victims by status, race, or gender, and quite often such a diagnosis is made by quite successful people. This fact is explained very simply: the main route of transmission of Koch’s sticks is airborne, when an infected person along with cough spreads bacteria.
With a strong immunity, the body itself can cope with the symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis at an early stage, but with its slightest weakening, the infection develops at a rapid pace. The risk group includes the following categories of persons:
- elderly people;
- chronic alcoholics and drug addicts;
- patients diagnosed with HIV and diabetes;
- patients after undergoing chemotherapy and using drugs that reduce the work of immunity;
- citizens living in places with poor environmental conditions.
Those who are in contact with a patient in a closed, poorly ventilated room for a long time are at particular risk.
A look at the problem from the inside
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by slow-breeding bacteria that feel best in areas of the body where there is a lot of blood and oxygen. That is why the disease is most often based in the lungs.
From a medical point of view, the development of Koch’s sticks is conditionally divided into two stages:
- The latent form means that there are bacteria in the body, but immunity does not allow the disease to develop. In adults, the symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis at an early stage most often do not appear.
- The active phase begins when the number of bacilli increases significantly and the first signs appear. It is people with secondary tuberculosis who are carriers of infection.
The peculiarity of Koch's wand is that it is resistant to many drugs and environmental factors, so it can remain viable for many months and even years. The infection quickly reacts to the slightest fluctuation of immunity and begins to develop rapidly, then the first symptoms appear:
- expectoration with mucus;
- coughing up blood;
- excessive sweating, especially at night;
- loss of appetite;
- shortness of breath, which only gets worse over time;
- chronic fatigue and lethargy;
- pallor of the skin;
- sharp weight loss;
In rare cases, along with these symptoms, the following symptoms may occur:
- difficulty breathing;
- pain when breathing in the chest;
- headache and fainting.
The results of the diagnostic examination of patients with acute tuberculosis largely depend on the location of the main localization of Koch sticks. In the case of lung damage on the radiograph and tapping of the chest will be visible such indicators:
- abnormal breathing sounds, especially in the upper lobes or areas involved;
- wheezing and bronchial signs indicating consolidation of the lungs;
- soft tissue scarring and necrotic processes.
However, the absence of obvious physical signs still does not exclude the presence of an active stage of pulmonary tuberculosis. Classic symptoms may be hidden or manifest in a slightly different form in patients at high risk.
Treat - can not be pardoned
The chance of meeting face to face with Koch’s wand is not that great — only about 5–10%. But if you translate the percentage into numbers, it is tens of millions of people infected around the world. Tuberculosis is a very terrible disease that is difficult to treat and takes many more human lives than other infections combined. That is why it is important to remember about elementary security measures:
- Undergo fluorography at least once a year;
- if possible, ventilate the room as often as possible;
- when talking with a person who is coughing, ask him to cover his mouth and nose with a handkerchief or do the same actions himself;
- during seasonal exacerbations of infectious diseases wear gauze bandages.
When diagnosing Koch’s sticks, the patient is immediately hospitalized and the necessary preventive measures are taken. The course of treatment mainly depends on the individual characteristics of the organism and is prescribed by the doctor based on several parameters: the stage, the test results, and the history of the disease. However, treatment always includes a combination of many drugs, usually up to 4 types.
After six months of intensive care, the first symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis in adults disappear. However, medication continues for several months. If tuberculosis bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, then a full recovery may take much longer - usually from a year or more.
The symptomatology of having Koch sticks in the lungs is so vague that it can be easily confused with other infectious diseases. But tuberculosis is not a simple infection, but a contagious and deadly disease, therefore, with prolonged coughing and other slightest suspicions of a cold, you should consult a doctor and pass the necessary tests. Detection of the disease in the early stages allows treatment with the safest and most effective methods. Be healthy and do not cough!