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Tuberculosis

Tuberculosi Vall d'Hebron

Infectious disease caused by the microorganism Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which mainly affects the respiratory system and requires prolonged and uninterrupted treatment to cure. If treatment is interrupted, it can become resistant to drugs, which makes it harder to cure. 

The reservoir of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is humans and it is usually an airborne disease. Transmission is caused by living in close proximity to someone with pulmonary tuberculosis. It is important to be aware that we are talking about a disease that can be treated, cured and eradicated, which means that it could disappear from the human population.

Description

At the moment, however, it is the primary cause of death from infectious disease on the planet. Factors such as resistance to first-line drugs or coinfection make it difficult to treat the disease and increase its mortality rate. 

 

Symptoms

 

The symptoms of tuberculosis depend on the organ that is infected. In the case of pulmonary tuberculosis, the most common symptoms are chesty cough, fever, weight loss and sweating at night. A diagnosis of tuberculosis should be considered when these symptoms last for more than 3-4 weeks.

 

Who is affected by the condition?

 

It can affect anyone who has been in contact with infected patients.  

 

Diagnosis

 

Tuberculosis is diagnosed according to the patient’s symptomatology, the findings of a physical examination and the results of complementary testing. Microbiological tests constitute an essential pillar for diagnosis. Some tests include micobacteria cultures, microscopic techniques and evidence of molecular biology.

Patients have a confirmed diagnosis when the microbiological tests are positive. If they are not positive, they are said to have a probable diagnosis. 

 

 

Typical Treatment

 

Conducted by means of several drugs to avoid resistance. The length of treatment is prolonged (minimum six months)  because many drugs acts on the dividing bacteria and this microorganism is slow growing. Where possible, all tablets are administered in one single sitting per day to make following the treatment plan easier. 

 

 

Typical test

 

Chest x-rays, general tests, cultures of biological samples.

 

 

Prevention

   

There are no specific prevention measures to avoid infection.

 

 

 

Hospital o serveis complementaris relacionats

General Hospital

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Cross-departmental services

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