Pulmonary tuberculosis is an infection affecting the lungs primarily. Typically this disease usually only attacks the respiratory systems of patients. Though it can also lay dormant in the body, only to manifest later in life. It is estimated that nearly one-third of the population is infected with some form of pulmonary tuberculosis. While this disease is not always fatal, it is a serious threat to the respiratory system and must be treated with an intensive regimen of antibiotics, something that is becoming more difficult with increased resistance to antibiotics.
1. Overview of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (TB) is generally acquired by inhaling small droplets from an infected person. Tuberculosis wards, historically, were used to quarantine those suffering from the illness, in a public health effort to protect the population. While TB generally attacks the lungs only, it can also present problems in the abdomen, the nervous system, the bones, and the glands. The actual bacteria in TB is called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. While it is transmitted through the air – leading to transmissions often between families and co-workers – the bacteria does not thrive on surfaces. This means that one cannot be infected through shaking hands or sharing foods and drinks.