Written by Stichting Mainline
|Wednesday, 17 February 2010 00:00
It was 1882 when the rod-shaped tubercle bacillus was discovered which for centuries had caused the much feared 'white plague': tuberculosis. Tuberculosis of the lung (pulmonary tuberculosis) is the most common type. Here, the bacterium has lodged itself in the lungs.
Do you always get sick when infected? No.
How long is the incubation period?
One could get sick immediately after initial infection but it also could take years. This depends very much on the person's health. The weaker the physical condition, the faster one gets sick. However, not everyone who catches the disease, develops symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing.
Can tuberculosis be cured?
Yes. However, the first effective medicine against tuberculosis was not found until 1994: streptomycine. The germ is
destroyed after prolonged treatment (at least six months).
How can tuberculosis be prevented?
just like the flu, tuberculosis is difficult to prevent. Turn away your face if someone coughs or sneezes in your direction.
How do you catch tuberculosis?
The germ is spread through the airway by people with 'active'(= contagious) TB. With active TB, tubercle bacilli are present in the sputum, (coughed up saliva and mucous), which creates a direct danger for infection.
Breathing in air, which has been coughed up from the lungs by a patient with active TB.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 06 January 2011 16:45