What is Tuberculosis?

What is Tuberculosis?

·         Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious disease caused mainly by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) and occasionally by Mycobacterium bovis or Mycobacterium africanum

·         These micro-organisms are also known as acid-fast bacilli (AFB) because of their staining characteristics

·         TB is transmitted from one person to another through inhalation of droplets during;

o   Coughing which is the most common means of transmission

o   Laughing

o   talking,

o   Sneezing, and singing

·         Untreated smear-positive patients who are in the community are the potential source of infection.

·         The concentration of infected droplets in the air and the length of time a person breathes that air determines an individual’s risk of exposure.

·         TB can be grouped into two main types: pulmonary and extra-pulmonary.

·         The most common form is pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), which accounts for 80% of all cases of TB.

o   PTB is infectious, and affects the lungs.

·         Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) affects organs other than the lungs, and is non-infectious.

o   EPTB accounts for 20% of all cases of TB.

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