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by Kohnle D

(Tuberculosis Vaccine)

 

What Is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial infection that typically targets the lungs. TB can also infect other areas of the body, such as the kidneys, spine, or brain.
TB is spread from the lungs of a person with TB through coughing. When a person coughs or sneezes, the bacteria travel into the air and may be inhaled by a person standing nearby. TB is most commonly spread through repeated contact, such as within a family. Short-term exposure can also cause TB.
At one point, TB was the leading cause of death in the United States. As treatments were developed, TB rates began to drop. Today, there are far fewer cases, but the disease is still present.
TB is still a major health problem throughout the world, particularly in Africa. People with AIDS also have a higher risk of getting TB.
Symptoms depend on where the bacteria have settled and grown in the body. The lungs are often infected. Symptoms of TB infection in the lungs include:
  • A cough that lasts three weeks or longer
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood or phlegm
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever and chills
  • Night sweats
TB can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics. Without treatment, the disease can be fatal.
 


WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov

The BCG World Atlas on BCG Policies
http://www.bcgatlas.org

 

References


Active tuberculosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 13, 2013. Accessed November 19, 2013.


Basic TB facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/default.htm. Updated March 13, 2013. Accessed November 19, 2013.


BCG vaccine. DailyMed website. Available at: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=a83f0b99-9038-4c5a-aaac-8792b32838fe. Updated September 2012. Accessed November 19, 2013.


Kaufmann SH. Fact and fiction in tuberculosis vaccine research: 10 years later. Lancet Infect Dis. 2011;11(8):633-640.


Kaufmann SH, Hussey G, et al. New vaccines for tuberculosis. Lancet. 2010 Jun 12;375(9731):2110-2119.


Tuberculosis in children fact sheet. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/tuberculosis/tuberculosis-in-children-fact.html. Updated March 2013. Accessed November 19, 2013.


Rouanet C, Locht C. Boosting BCG to protect against TB. Expert Rev Respir Med. 2010 Jun;4(3):339-348.


TB vaccine (BCG). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/vaccines/default.htm. Updated August 14, 2012. Accessed November 19, 2013.

 

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