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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Term Paper on Tuberculosis

Term Paper on Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, which can target any body part, results in the death of nearly two million people every year. TB is an infectious disease that is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis usually found in the droplets of an active TB patient (1). According to historical studies, TB was known to the ancient Egyptians, in fact, the analysis of the spinal column of the mummies from 2400 BC shows a definite pathological signs of TB decay. Thousands of years later, A. Waksman discovered the power of fungi in decreasing the Mycobacterium tuberculosis growth, and was able to isolate actinomycin that was too poisonous for use in both humans and animals. His second discovery, streptomycin, showed a more noticeable success; the bacteria vanished from the patient’s sputum and he made a quick recovery (2). By 2020 the incidence of TB disease will rise to 100 million new cases and will account for 36 million deaths a year. Nowadays, one person gets infected every second (1).
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Transmission, symptoms, and treatment are the three criteria by which tuberculosis, an infectious disease, can be described.

Although droplet transmission is the most common way to transmit TB, direct contact and infection via intestines are unusual ways to transmit this disease. TB is usually contracted by spreading through the tiny droplets that may spray into the air when an individual carrying the bacteria sneezes or coughs (4). Having direct exposure to bacteriogenic materials is another way to contract TB; therefore, workers, who are in close contact with these materials, are at most risk to develop TB this way, for example dissecting assistants, doctors, ranchers, and butchers. Finally, a person can get TB by eating contaminated animal products such as raw milk or undercooked meat from an infected animal (3).

Symptoms vary according to the infected organ. The commonest site of tuberculosis disease is the lungs, but it can spread to other organs specifically joints, bones, central nervous system, and urinary. Several symptoms are associated with pulmonary TB, including cough, fatigue, slight fever, and pain when breathing or coughing, while extrapulmonary TB symptoms may be back pain if the spine is affected, or blood in the urine of a patient with TB of the kidney (1).

The treatment regimen includes at least three or preferably four specific antibiotics that can be changed if the causative agent develops drug resistance. The initial regimen for treating TB should include four drugs: isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol; however if the bacteria becomes drug resistant then streptomycin is used instead of ethambutol (1, 2). Occasionally, the drugs may cause serious side effects. Possible side effects of rifampin, which are similar to symptoms of flu, include fever, chills, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting; while those of ethambutol are kidney and vision related (1).

In conclusion, tuberculosis is an infectious disease that can be described according to its transmission, symptoms, and treatments. It can be transmitted in various ways such as droplet, direct contact, and infection via intestines. Since pulmonary TB is the most common form of this disease, symptoms related to the lungs often appears as the disease progresses. Finally, certain antibiotics are prescribed for the treatment of TB that may differ if the patient contracted TB for the second time. Therefore, understanding TB in order to decreasing the mortality caused by it are the purposes of this term paper.

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Warning!!! All free sample term papers and college term paper examples on Tuberculosis topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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