Bacteria aremicroscopic single celled organisms that thrivein diverse environments. They can live within soil, in the ocean and inside thehuman gut. The three basic bacterial shapes are spherical, bacillus and spiral. (Aryal.S,2015)Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection thatspreads through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of aninfected person. (NHS Choices, 2010) It mainly affects the lungs, but it can affect anypart of the body, including the abdomen glands, bones and nervous system. (NHS choices, 2010)When a person becomesinfected with tuberculosis, the bacteria in the lungs multiply and causepneumonia along with chest pain, coughing up blood, and a prolonged cough.
(NHSchoices, 2010) In addition, lymph nodesnear the heart and lungs become enlarged. As the TB tries to spread to otherparts of the body, it is often interrupted by the body’s immune system isunable to fight TB or if the bacteria break through the scar tissue, thedisease returns to an active state with pneumonia and damages the kidneys,bones and the meninges that line the spinal cord and brain. (National institution of health, 2013)A WHO reportshows that India has the highest number of TB resistant strains in the world,and a person infected with the bacteria is estimated to transmit it to anestimated 15 people within a year.
(World health organisation, 2009) This trendis in line with the current state of bacterial resistance in the country whichhas been criticised for its high level of corruption, lack of sanitation and generallylow adherence of patients. (World health organisation, 2009)Symptoms: Thesymptoms of tuberculosis (TB) depend on where the infection occurs and usuallydevelops slowly. The symptoms might not begin until months after an individualis initially infected. (National Institution of Health, 2013) In some cases the infection does not cause anysymptoms, which is known as latent TB. It’s called active TB if an individualhas symptoms. (NHS inform, 2015) General symptoms of TB may include lack ofappetite, weight lose and high temperature. An individual may also experiencenight sweats and extreme tiredness or fatigue. (NHS Choices, 2015) Mostinfections affect the lungs, which can cause persistent cough that lasts more than threeweeks and usually brings up phlegm, which may be bloodybreathlessness that gradually gets worse.
(NHSchoices, 2015)Causes: Tuberculosisis caused by an organism called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (NHS choices.2015) The bacterium spreads from person to person through microscopic dropletsreleased into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, activeform of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings.
Therefore,it is important for healthcare providers to have their face masks and gloves on,when nursing a person with TB, so that they do not catch the infection. Mostpeople with active TB who have had appropriate drug treatment for at least twoweeks are no longer contagious. (NHS choices, 2015)