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Definition Pulmonary tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by slow- growing bacteria that resembles a fungus, Myobacterium tuberculosis, which is usually spread from person to person by droplet nuclei through the air. The lung is the usual infection site but the disease can occur elsewhere in the body. Typically, the bacteria from lesion (tubercle) in the alveoli. The lesion may heal, leaving scar tissue; may continue as an active granuloma, heal, then reactivate or may progress to necrosis, liquefaction, sloughing, and cavitation of lung tissue. The initial lesion may disseminate bacteria directly to adjacent tissue, through the blood stream, the lymphatic system, or the bronchi. Incubation Period: ( time elapsed between exposure to a pathogenic organism, a chemical or radiation, and when symptoms and signs are first apparent.) - From 2 to 10 weeks Etiology Factors that heavily contributes to high incidence and high mortality rate of TB: o Poverty/ overcrowded homes o Energy/ protein undernutrition o Deficiencies in vitamin A, D and C o Children below 5 years old – prone to infection due to inadequate levels of immunity. Mode of Transmission TB is an airborne infection transmitted by droplet nuclei,usually from within the respiratory tract of an infected person who expels them during coughing, sneezing or singing. Two most frequent ways the organism gain entrance to the body are: o Inhalation – large number of germs are found in the sputum and coughing sprays causing them into the air in small droplets, creating a ready means for other person to breath them into the lungs. o Ingestion – may be mode of infection, particularly in children, because they frequently place objects in their mouth. - Tuberculosis bacilli may be swallowed and it will pass through intestinal mucosa, producing first early lesions in their masentric nodes. Signs and Symptoms Although your body may harbor the TB bacteria, your immune system often can prevent you from becoming sick. For that reason, doctors make a distinction between: TB infection. This condition, sometimes called latent TB, causes no symptoms and isn't contagious. Active TB. This condition makes you sick and can spread to others. However, the infection may be asymptomatic for years, even though it's active and causing damage. Your immune system begins to attack TB bacteria two to eight weeks after you're infected. Sometimes the bacteria die, and the infection clears
you may develop active TB. Signs and symptoms of active pulmonary TB include: o A cough lasting three or more weeks that may produce discolored or bloody sputum o Unintended weight loss .completely. In other cases.TB mainly affects your lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis). the bacteria remain in your body in an inactive state and cause no tuberculosis symptoms. and coughing is often the only indication of infection initially. In still other cases.