WMCTV.com Internet Insider: Tuberculosis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

WMCTV.com Internet Insider: Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis , which most commonly affects the lungs, but can also affect the central nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, bones and joints.

TB is spread through aerosol droplets which are expelled when persons with active TB disease cough, sneeze, speak, or spit. Close contacts (people with prolonged, frequent, or intense contact) are at highest risk of becoming infected.

A person with untreated, active tuberculosis can infect an estimated 20 other people per year. Others at risk include foreign-born from areas where TB is common, immunocompromised patients (eg. HIV/AIDS), residents and employees of high-risk congregate settings, health care workers who serve high-risk clients, medically underserved, low-income populations, high-risk racial or ethnic minority populations, children exposed to adults in high-risk categories, and people who inject illicit drugs.

Prevention and control efforts include three priority strategies:

  • identifying and treating all persons who have TB disease
  • finding and evaluating persons who have been in contact with TB patients to determine whether they have TB infection or disease, and treating them appropriately, and
  • testing high-risk groups for TB infection to identify candidates for treatment of latent infection and to ensure the completion of treatment.

For detailed information on the treatment of Tuberculosis, click here.

For more information about TB, visit the "Internet Insider" links on the left side of this page.

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