By: Alyssa Fennell


Tuberculosis is an airborne bacterial infection. It can be caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attacks the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. It is most common to occur in the lungs, but it can spread anywhere through the bloodstream or lymph noodles. Antibiotics however have made this once widespread disease non common. Treatments depends whether you have active, inactive, or multi-drug resistant TB.


- A cough with thick, cloudy, and sometimes bloody mucus from the lungs (sputum) for more than 2 weeks.
- Fever, chills, and night sweats.
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss.
- Shortness of breath and chest pain.

Cause of Tuberculosis

It is a bacterial infection because TB bacteria can become active, causing death of the tissues in the organs they infect. It grows in the lungs causing a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, pain in the chest, and coughing up blood.

Transmission of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is spread through the air by person to person. The TB bacteria is put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
Big image


This disease could be endemic in a sudden outbreak of a disease in the community. For example, at school, if someone with TB coughs, sneezes, or speaks to another student, and is left untreated, then that could cause an outbreak. However, this disease is most commonly a pandemic which is an epidemic that spreads worldwide. It is the leading cause of infectious death worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that 2 billion people- one third of the World’s population is diagnosed with Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Each year, 9.6 million fall ill from TB and 1.5 million die. .

Treatment for Tuberculosis

TB disease can be treated by taking several drugs from 6 to 9 months. There are 10 drugs currently approved by the U.S. The first-line anti-TB agents that form the core of treatments is Isoniazid (INH), Rifampin (RIF), Ethambutol (EMB), and Pyrazinamide (PZA). A combination of these drugs are required for 3 months, followed by INH and Priftin to complete to six months. Active TB diseases can be fatal if not treated so regular monitoring and treatment by a doctor is important. It is crucial that people with TB disease finish the medicine, taking the drugs exactly as prescribed. “If they stop taking the drugs again too soon, they can become sick again; if they do not take the drugs correctly, the TB bacteria that are still alive may become resistant to the drugs which is harder and more expensive to treat,” according to The BCG vaccine is also an option. “BCG is used in many countries with a high prevalence of TB to prevent childhood tuberculous meningitis and miliary disease. However, BCG is not generally recommended for use in the United States because of the low risk of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the variable effectiveness of the vaccine against adult pulmonary TB, and the vaccine’s potential interference with tuberculin skin test reactivity. The BCG vaccine should be considered only for very select persons who meet specific criteria and in consultation with a TB expert,” according to

Prognosis for the future

At the rate the disease is going, I think that we will be able to eradicate TB. There is already a cure for TB, and if everyone that is diagnosed with TB disease takes their medication as directed and stays away from human contact until they’re better, than it could destroy the disease.

Work Cited

"Fact Sheets." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Oct. 2011. Web. 09 May 2016.

"Treatment." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 09 Dec. 2011. Web. 09 May 2016.

"Global Pandemic | TB Alliance." Global Pandemic | TB Alliance. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2016.

"Tuberculosis Treatments by Type -- Antibiotics and More." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 09 May 2016.

"What Is Tuberculosis? Picture, Diagnosis, Causes." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 09 May 2016.

"Tuberculosis (TB)-Symptoms." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 09 May 2016.

"Basic TB Facts." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 09 May 2016.