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Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis Bacterium

Tuberculosis Bacterium

Infection

The infection is transmitted directly from person to person through the air. TB is usually not very contagious for healthy people.

Vaccination

BCG vaccination is considered in previously unvaccinated travellers if staying abroad for 6 months or more.
The vaccine gives a small open wound, which heals over 4 to 6 weeks.

Symptoms

The infection is most common in the lungs with cough and low grade fever, but TB can been seen in almost all tissues and in small children TB meningitis is common.

Diagnosis

Detection of TB bacteria by microscopy, culture or detection of TB nucleic acid (DNA) in sputum or other samples.
A skin test (Mantoux test) show a positive reaction if one has been exposed to TB bacteria.

Treatment

Several antibiotics are available. Treatment is usually given with 4 drugs at a time for 6 to 9 months.

Prevention

Except for vaccination, prevention is difficult.

More about TB

TB has been spreading over the past 2 decades mainly because TB is closely associated with HIV-infection. Many people with an asymptomatic TB infection develop symptomatic TB because of a concomitant HIV-infection. There is resistance to TB drugs in several countries in particular South Africa, Russia and other former Soviet Union republics.


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