About the Disease
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis. When this bacillus is stained with carbol fuchsin it appears purplish red. The bacterium retains this dye even when it is washed with acid and alcohol. That is why it is called acid fast bacillus (AFB). Mycobacterium tuberculosis can remain dormant for many years in the lung without producing disease.
The spread of infection
The patient with pulmonary TB is the source of infection to others around him, especially when his sputum contains AFB. When such a patient coughs, he expels thousands of tiny droplets around him which have AFB in them.
Transmission of infection takes place when those around him breathe this contaminated air. Direct sunlight rapidly destroys AFB, but they can survive for long periods in darkness. Thus the risk of transmission of infection is highest in those persons who stay indoors with such a patient for long periods, e.g. family contacts.
The infection is largely spread in the community by patients whose sputum smear is positive for AFB. The chances of a sputum smear negative patient spreading infection are much less, and by those with extrapulmonary TB even lower.
The onset of disease
90 percent of the infected adults never develop TB. They remain asymptomatic but Mantoux positive throughout their liver.
The rate of progression of infection to disease is highest shortly after exposure to infection and it diminishes progressively as time passes. However, at anytime, weakening of immune responses and stress may cause multiplication and spread of the already present bacteria, resulting in the onset of tuberculous disease.
Making a Diagnosis
Cough, chest pain and fever are symptoms common to a variety of lung diseases. Most acute respiratory conditions subside within 3-4 weeks. When these symptoms persist for more than 3 weeks or if the patient has haemoptysis, a diagnosis of pulmonary TB must be considered in view of the high prevalence of this disease in our country. The above symptoms may or may not be associated with constitutional symptoms like malaise, loss of appetite and weight, and night sweats.
Pulmonary TB does not present with any specific physical signs. It cannot be distinguished from other respiratory disease on the basis of physical examination alone.
TB CASE AND OUR TREATMENT…..
PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS:- ——— A CASE OF PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS ,WHO WAS UNDER THE TREATMENT OF CITY BASED GIANT HOSPITAL FOR PREVIOUS ONE AND HALF YEARS.BUT THE PROBLEMS DID NOT QUIT HER.COUGH ,CHEST PAIN , NIGHT TEMPRATURE LOW GRADE AND LOSS OF APPETITE PERSIST. SHE CAME TO US ON THE 20TH NOVEMBER ‘ 08 FOR OUR TREATMENT. AFTER 14 DAYS IMPROVEMENT ROLLED ON . BUT IN A VERY SLOW PROCESS. HOWEVER THE SPEED ,THE PATIENT BECAME HOPEFUL WITH THE RESULT SHE RECEIVED WITH FOURTEEN DAYS WHICH THE DOMINANT SCHOOL [ ALLOPATHY MEDICINE] COULD NOT SHOW. SHE WAS FINALLY CHECKED ON TH 9TH MARCH,2009 AND FOUND ALL RIGHT AND FREE FROM TUBERCULOSIS . SHE CAME TO US THIS MORNING [ 19 TH OCTOBER ,2009] FOR CHECK UP, WE HAVE CHECKED UP AND FOUND HER ALL FIT.