*THE RETURN OF TUBERCULOSIS*
We are both doing a project about Tuberculosis and its causes. Our aim is to find out why there is a rise in TB in the UK over the last 5 years. Our objectives are to find out what TB actually is, its causes and how it affects our body. Also the spread and the symptoms of it. Our method is to design questionnaires and interviews for the public. We will then analyse the responses to our questions. We will also compare our findings to previous work done on tuberculosis.
The information below is what we have researched on TB so far:
"What is Tuberculosis?"
TB, or tuberculosis, is
a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria
can attack any part of your body, but they usually attack the lungs.
TB bacteria becomes active if the immune system can't stop them from growing. The active bacteria begin to multiply in the body and cause TB disease. Some people develop TB disease soon after becoming infected, before their immune system can fight the TB bacteria. Other people may get sick later, when their immune system becomes weak. Babies and young children often have weak immune systems. People infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have very weak immune systems. Other people can have weak immune systems, too, especially people with any of these conditions
- substance abuse
- diabetes mellitus
- cancer of the head or neck
- leukaemia or Hodgkin's disease
- severe kidney disease
- low body weight
- certain medical treatments (such as organ transplants)
How can I get tested?
A TB skin test is the only
way to find out if you have TB infection. You can get a skin test at
the health department or at your doctor's office. You should get tested
for TB if:
- You have spent time with a person with infectious TB
- You have HIV infection or another condition that puts you at high risk for TB disease
- You think you might have TB disease
- You are from a country where TB disease is very common (most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia, except for Japan)
- You inject drugs
- You live somewhere in the U.S. where TB disease is common.
How is it spread?
TB is spread through the
air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person
with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People nearby may
breathe in these bacteria and become infected. When a person breathes in TB
bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there,
they can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney,
spine, and brain. TB in the lungs or throat can be infectious. This means
that the bacteria can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the
body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious. People with
TB disease are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every
day. This includes family members, friends, and co-workers.
What happens to your lungs?
When the inhaled tuberculosis
bacteria enter the lungs, they can multiply, causing a local lung infection
The local lymph nodes associated with the lungs may also become involved.
In addition, TB can spread to other parts of the body. The body's immune (defence)
system, however, can fight off the infection and stop the bacteria from spreading.
The immune system does so ultimately by forming scar tissue around the TB
bacteria and isolating it from the rest of the body. If the body is able to
form scar tissue (fibrosis) around the TB bacteria, then the infection is
contained in an inactive state.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of TB depend on
where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB bacteria usually grow in
the lungs. TB in the lungs may cause:
- a bad cough that lasts longer than 2 weeks
- pain in the chest
- coughing up blood or sputum (sputum comes from deep in the lungs)
Other symptoms of TB disease
- Weakness or tiredness
- Weight loss
- No appetite
- Sweating at night
Follow this link to view The Presentation of this Project at the Launch Event