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Tuberculosis treatment

Description
Tuberculosis (TB for short) is a highly infectious disease carried by a myobacteria that usually affects the lungs and kills 50% of those who are infected and go without treatment. It is a problem mostly in developing countries, and is also a threat to those with compromised immune systems. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared TB to be a global health emergency in 1993.
Causes
Tuberculosis is spread and caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can survive in a dry environment for up to weeks outside of a host. A person can contract the illness when they breath particles of bacteria in the air during close contact with someone who is infected.
Prevention
Prevention for TB includes identification and treatment of infected individuals to eliminate spread of the illness, as well as vaccination for children and adults.
Common Symptoms
75% of cases are pulmonary tuberculosis, and symptoms include prolonged cough, chest pain, and coughing up blood. Other symptoms are loss of appetite, weight loss, increased fatigue, fever, chills, and night sweats.
Rare Symptoms
25% of cases are diagnosed as extrapulmonary tuberculosis, denoting infection outside of the lungs.
Traditional Treatment
Treatment usually includes antibiotics (rifampicin and isoniazid).
Alternative Treatment
If the tuberculosis is drug-resistant, second-line antituberculosis medications is necessary to cure the patient. These second-line treatments are often much more expensive than the traditional treatments.
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