Tuberculosis (TB)
Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Tuberculosis (TB)
Tuberculosis is a highly infectious and deadly bacterial disease which left untreated is often fatal.

Cause of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis which is easily transmitted through air particles when someone who is infected sneezes, coughs or talks.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis
Symptoms of tuberculosis are usually centered around the lungs but other areas of the body can also be affected, usually as the disease spreads. Symptoms can include:

If the tuberculosis spreads beyond the lungs it can infect the bones, nervous system, joints, digestive system, urinary and reproductive systems.

Prevention Of Tuberculosis
Vaccinating with the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine.

Diagnosing Tuberculosis
A chest x-ray is taken and sputum analyzed to detect the presence of the bacteria.

Treatment of Tuberculosis
Long term specialist treatment is necessary and usually involves initial isolation to prevent further spread of the bacteria combined with the use of several antibiotics for anywhere between 6 to 24 months depending on the severity of the condition and if any multi drug resistance takes place.

Most At Risk
Anyone who has not been immunized is potentially at risk. People with an already compromised immune system or those in close contact with people who are infected and people who live in high risk areas.

Affected Areas
Tuberculosis is still a worldwide problem that is particularly prevalent in sub Saharan Africa, Asia, Central America and Eastern Europe.