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Tuberculosis Essay

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Below is an essay on "Tuberculosis" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria whose scientific name is Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It was first isolated in 1882 by a German physician named Robert Koch who received the Nobel Prize for this discovery. TB usually affects the lungs but also can involve almost any organ of the body. Many years ago, this disease was referred to as "consumption" because without effective treatment, these patients often would waste away and die (Franks 2008). Today, tuberculosis can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics. There is also a group of organisms referred to as atypical tuberculosis. These involve other types of bacteria in the Mycobacterium family. Often, these organisms do not cause disease and are referred to a "colonizers," because they simply live alongside other bacteria in our bodies without causing damage. At times, these bacteria can cause an infection that is sometimes clinically like typical tuberculosis. When these atypical mycobacterium cause infection, they are often very difficult to cure. Often, drug therapy for these organisms must be administered for one and a half to two years and requires multiple medications (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Tuberculosis Elimination 2010). Symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary TB). According to Dyer (2010), TB disease in the lungs may cause symptoms such as a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs). Some other symptoms of TB disease are weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever, sweating at night.   Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected. People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. It may be many months from the time of exposure to TB bacteria until the physical...

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