![Depiction_of_a_tuberculosis_patient.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/bd-cryptotrader/EowJwxHMezdfSseez8UutCszCfB2eNnif43zHmcY7CKamxPh6AbQsqSe8qDCx89psWe.png) [Source](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis) Tuberculosis, or TB, is one of the most well-known and feared diseases. It was once a pandemic that killed millions of people every year. Although it is now much less common and deadly, tuberculosis remains a serious disease that can be extremely challenging to diagnose and treat. Cases of tuberculosis have been on the rise in recent years. In fact, it’s considered one of the top 10 infectious diseases in the world right now. This resurgence has been attributed to a combination of factors, including increased drug resistance and poorer living conditions which allow the bacteria to spread more easily. Many people simply do not understand what TB even is and how it affects your body. Read on to learn more about what tuberculous is, its risk factors, symptoms, treatment options, and much more. What is Tuberculosis? Tuberculous is an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily affects the lungs, but it can also attack the lymph nodes, kidneys, spine, and brain. It is an extremely complex disease with many potential risk factors and symptoms. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are extremely common — almost half the world’s population has been infected with them at some point in their lives. However, most people show no symptoms and can be treated successfully with antibiotics. In some people, however, the bacteria can become active again, causing active tuberculosis (TB). [Reference Source](https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/default.htm) Risk Factors for Tuberculosis ![istockphoto-1298571059-612x612.jpg](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/bd-cryptotrader/23vsjkUp5Y4hj9ZwMieGTuPRQ1TwhgQykoiuhBVDNEnzJ19Tt8YZDL6NNsubg2ES4nmtH.jpg) [Source](https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/medic-making-mantoux-test-to-child-gm1298571059-391405866?phrase=TB%20Testing) Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that are spread through the air when a person with active TB coughs, sneezes, or spits. People who are in close proximity to someone with TB can inhale the bacteria and become infected. A person who has been infected with TB bacteria does not become contagious until symptoms begin to show. Tuberculosis is more common in areas that have poor hygiene, limited access to health care, and a large population living in poverty. As a result, certain populations are more at risk of contracting TB, including: People with certain types of compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV/AIDS or diabetes People with lung diseases like asthma or COPD People who are living in extreme poverty People who are homeless People who inject drugs People who are behind bars People who have recently come into the country [Reference Source](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tuberculosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351250) What are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis? The symptoms of TB can vary greatly depending on the person and the severity of the infection. Some people have no symptoms, while others have severe symptoms that can only be controlled but not cured. The most common symptoms of TB include: A cough that lasts three weeks or longer and doesn’t go away with treatment Fever or chills Weight loss or unintentional weight loss Worsening of another medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease Finding blood in your sputum (mucus that comes out of your lungs) Hoarseness or change in the way your voice sounds [Reference Source](https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tuberculosis-tb/) TB Testing and Diagnosis The first step in diagnosing TB is to rule out all other possible causes of the symptoms. This can take a couple of weeks, but it is essential in order to proceed with the correct treatments. If TB is suspected, several types of tests can be done to diagnose the disease, including: Skin test: A doctor will likely do a skin test with an extract from the bacteria that causes TB. If you’ve been exposed to TB or you have been diagnosed with the disease in the past, you likely won’t react to the extract. If the test is positive, you will likely be prescribed a TB treatment. Blood test: This test can be used to diagnose active TB, as well as latent TB that hasn’t been treated. Chest x-ray: This is a safe and reliable way to diagnose TB. [Reference Source](https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/testing/default.htm#:~:text=There%20are%20two%20kinds%20of,has%20progressed%20to%20TB%20disease.) Treatment Options for Tuberculosis TB is a very complex disease, and each person’s treatment plan is unique. The doctor will decide on the best course of treatment based on your age, overall health, the severity of your symptoms, and the types of drugs that are available. Some common TB treatment options include: Antibiotics: These can be taken orally or given intravenously in the hospital. Sometimes, they are used in combination with other medicines. Drugs used to treat TB include isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, pyrazinamide, and streptomycin. In rare cases, extreme cases of TB may require a combination of antibiotics and surgery to remove infected tissue. In these cases, antibiotics only treat the bacteria in your body — they do not remove the bacteria from your lungs. Conclusion Tuberculosis is a complex and serious disease. Fortunately, it can be treated with antibiotics and other drugs that are designed to kill the bacteria that causes it. While tuberculosis is not as common as it once was, there is a resurgence in cases around the world. This has been attributed to the rising rates of drug resistance and poorer living conditions, which allow the bacteria to spread more easily. With proper screening and treatment, people with tuberculosis should be able to recover and lead healthy and normal lives. Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/default.htm https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tuberculosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351250 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tuberculosis-tb/ https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/testing/default.htm#:~:text=There%20are%20two%20kinds%20of,has%20progressed%20to%20TB%20disease.