Some individuals with tb infection may choose not to

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Some individuals with TB infection may choose not to be treated. These persons should be informed about the symptoms of TB disease and should be instructed to visit physician for evaluation should they ever develop these symptoms. 7. What is TB disease? When the infecting TB bacteria are not neutralized by a person’s immune system, they can multiply and travel to other parts of the body. The fight between these TB germs and the body’s immune system can result in tissue destruction in the body part that the bacteria reach. This will produce the symptoms and signs of TB disease. Although any part of the body can be involved, the body site most commonly affected with TB disease is the lung (pulmonary TB). TB disease outside the lungs and throat is not contagious. When someone with active TB (disease) of the lungs or throat coughs or sings, the TB germs are propelled into the surrounding air ready to infect the next person who inhales them. The phlegm or sputum coughed out by these persons may show the TB bacteria if examined under the microscope (smear-positive cases). These are the most infectious cases of TB and must be treated and cured to stop the spread of TB in our communities. 8. What are the symptoms of TB disease? cough that does not go away for 3 weeks coughing up blood prolonged fever night or afternoon sweats constant tiredness loss of weight and loss of appetite Any person who develops these symptoms must be evaluated by their physician for the possibility of TB disease. 9. What are the tests for TB disease? 1. Sputum examination for Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB smear). This is done by smearing a sample of coughed-up phlegm (sputum) on a glass slide , treating this with special dyes and then examining the specimen under a microscope. If TB bacilli are seen then the patient has active TB disease. It is best to have three separate sputum specimens examined to increase the likelihood of finding these bacilli. Unfortunately these Acid-Fast Bacilli are not always seen on sputum examination even in persons with active lung TB.
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