Tuberculosis | Teen Ink


June 1, 2008
By Anonymous

Tuberculosis is one of the most deadly diseases in the world today. Tuberculosis kills more than two million people each year, and the number of cases of TB has increased over the years. Tuberculosis has increased from thirty percent to fifty percent in ten years; 1996-2006. There are two types of Tuberculosis, but there are many different variations that affect different parts of the body. Tuberculosis is only detected when there is a high amount of suspicion, because of strange pains or other symptoms. Tuberculosis is a serious disease that should and needs to be treated and taken care of before it turns into a deadly epidemic.
The first type of tuberculosis is the infection. The infection has no symptoms, is not infectious, and if an X-Ray is taken, there will be no traces or signs of the disease. The infection is not very serious but it can lead to the deadly disease. TB infection as not actually classified as TB at all. The second type of tuberculosis is the disease. The symptoms are coughing, fevers, and sudden weight loss. Before the disease is treated, it can be infectious or contagious. If an X-Ray is taken, then it show up as a small lesion in the body near the lungs. The TB disease is of course classified as tuberculosis (CNN).
When most people think of tuberculosis, they think of the traditional disease that affects the lungs and results in coughing up blood, etc. the disease actually affects many different areas of the body. Tuberculosis is known to affect the lungs, however, it affects many other places as well. When those parts are infected, it can lead to permanent body damage or can be fatal if it is not treated in time. (World TB Today)
There are eight major types of tuberculosis that can occur in the body. Skeletal, genital, urinary, CNS, gastrointestinal, adrenal, scrofula, and cardiac tuberculosis are those eight types. Skeletal TB is also known as Potts’s Disease. It affects the spine and hips and it damages the soft tissues in the body and can lead to permanent body paralysis. It also affects many other places including the knee (World TB Today).
Tuberculosis that affects the genital tract can happen to both males and females. In females it causes irregular menstrual bleeding. In men, genital TB affects the prostate and can lead to prostate cancer. Genital TB can also cause Asherman’s syndrome CNS tuberculosis is when the Cranial Nerve System is damaged. The nervous system may be damaged with the disease and it can travel through fluids. CNS can also cause mild seizures and spasms. It is the most common disease in “third world” under developed countries and is related to prevalence in the densely populated communities and neighborhoods. More people die from CNS than any other form of tuberculosis. If this disease is not treated soon after diagnosis, it can be fatal (Library Med).
Gastrointestinal tuberculosis is a disease that is not very common. Gastrointestinal TB causes lesions and ulcers will form throughout the small intestine. This disease can be fatal if it is not treated soon enough. Adrenal tuberculosis is also known as Addison’s disease and it affects the adrenal area of the body. With gastrointestinal TB, the infected person may become drug resistant, and therefore they will not be able to be treated and they cannot recover. Without the medication to treat the disease, the infected will most likely die. So more scientists need to find a more affective drug to treat the disease. If more of an effort was made, than less people would die because of drug resistance (Library Med).
Scrofula TB is a disease the cervical notes and the mandible or jaw. It weakens the jaw and makes it hard to eat, speak, etc. Cardiac tuberculosis is obviously a disease of the heart. If the disease becomes extensive and chronic, it can lead to fibrosis with calcification. It can also result in massive heart attacks and will then lead to bi-pass surgery if necessary later on (Library Med).
Tuberculosis in the urinary tract is deadly, and it can be very painful. It can usually decide the fate of life or death. It damages and destroys the renal parenchyma or the ability to function the tissue and organ gland. It can limit the amount of urine that can be passed through in both males and females. Urinary tuberculosis can also block the urine altogether, therefore requiring more medical attention and surgery if necessary. TB in the urinary tract is mostly common in diabetics and immunologically damaged or unstable patients (CIDA).
The types of tuberculosis that were discussed are only a few of the kinds there are. The seriousness of tuberculosis is not a joking matter. It is the leading cause of death by an infectious organism in the world today. That will continue to increase if more people do not step and fight to get a vaccination and try harder to find a cure for the horrible disease. There are more kinds, but those were the major ones. Hopefully TB will not turn into an epidemic in future years. Because the disease can spread so quickly, it is harder to eliminate or find the tuberculosis cells before it affects a lot of people, like TB already has in many countries today. People will have to watch what they touch as well because TB travels through many substances, including bacteria. If an effort is not made to generate more medications and treatments for tuberculosis, than more and more people are going to lose their lives to the deadly, infectious disease. Because the disease can spread so quickly, it is harder to eliminate or find the tuberculosis cells before it affects a lot of people, like TB already has in many countries today.


“Canada Finances Tuberculosis Cure for Half Million People in Developing Countries.”

News Release. Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Canada. March 25 2002. May 22

“TB Still a Giant Killer Disease.” Deutsche Welle. 24 march 2002. May 23

“TB Still a Threat.” CNN. March 25 2002. May 23

“World Tuberculosis Today.” Press Release. International Organization for Migration. Geneva, Switzerland. March 22. May 23

17 May 2008.

17 May 2008.

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