According to the WHO, latent tuberculosis can affect 15 million people. It is a serious health problem worldwide and one of the most important causes of illness and death in many countries.
"Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other organs such as the brain, the kidneys or the spine. If the proper treatment is not received, the outcome can be fatal ", says Dr. Rosaly Moreno, specialist in Hospital Pulmonology HLA San Carlos. On the occasion of the world day of this disease, the March 24, in HLA Saint Charles, they want to raise awareness and give important information to the population.
Tuberculosis is a disease caused by microbes that are transmitted through the droplets of Pflügge from the cough or sneeze of a sick person. These microbes can remain in the air for several hours. People who breathe the air that contains these microbes can become infected; This is called latent tuberculosis.
The presence of latent tuberculosis infection is not equivalent to suffering from the disease. People with latent tuberculosis infection have microbes in their bodies but they are not sick, because those microbes are not active. These people do not have the symptoms of tuberculosis and can not infect other people. However, they could become ill, so they are often prescribed treatment to prevent them from getting TB. On the contrary, in people with TB disease, the microbes are active, which means that they are multiplying and destroying body tissues. These people have the disease in their lungs or throat and can spread the germs to others, so they should receive specific treatment.
Symptoms and diagnosis
The general symptoms of tuberculosis are low-grade fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Tuberculosis in the lungs can also cause cough sometimes accompanied by blood, chest pain and difficulty breathing. These symptoms affect the quality of life relatively and can become chronic.
Latent tuberculosis infection can be detected by skin and blood tests. In the first, a small amount of a liquid called tuberculin is injected into the lower arm and the reaction is examined at 48 or 72 hours. Blood tests measure the reaction of the immune system to the microbes that cause tuberculosis. These tests detect if the person has latent tuberculosis infection, but do not determine if they have the disease, for which it will be necessary to perform chest x-rays or a sputum culture.
The Hospital HLA San Carlos has all the means to diagnose and treat tuberculosis disease.