Free Tuberculosis Research Paper Sample

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Viruses, Body, Disease, Health, Medicine, People, Vaccination, Time

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2020/12/13

(Institution Name)

What is Tuberculosis and how it originated?

Amongst many diseases that are notorious for having caused several deaths and ailments, tuberculosis stands out as a highly ranked one. Known as TB, this is a bacterial infection that spreads to the lymph nodes of lungs causing severe coughing initially followed by blood vomits and eventually the last stage that can be fatal.
The grounds where this bacteria fights, are the blood vessels that also serve as highways for it. Through them, it travels and reaches through to the other parts of the body. However, it is still mainly found in lungs.
A very odd thing for patients is that the bacteria can remain silent for a very long time. It is not exactly a dormant stage; the virus is perfectly alive and well. But, it is just waiting for the right time to strike. It can stay in an inactive form for a very long time in the body and hence the body remains unaware of its presence.
As no symptoms are shown upfront, so the patient remains unaware of being ill with it. The inactive state of this virus ends at the time it sees the immune system of a human being have gotten weak enough for its liking.
The TB virus infects tissues that it attacks, and they die, as a result. If left untreated, TB can be a fatal disease. Another alarming thing about TB is that it is contagious. Every bacteria and virus need a medium for its movement from one body to another. The bacteria of this disease use air as medium of transport from the body of one host to another.
Breathing near a TB patient can lead to catching the disease, sometimes even straight away. However, it is not necessary that one-time contact by sitting near someone ill with TB can cause it, normally the likelihood increases when a healthy person is exposed to an ill person on daily or regular basis.
Also, at the time of contact, the bacteria need to be in the active state. They do get transferred through but just sit in the body of their new host and pose no threat of spreading ahead before first getting active.
A human-specific pathogen is considered to have been the root cause of TB. It is believed that almost 40,000 years ago, the human-specific pathogen underwent a population bottleneck. Historically speaking, this virus first came into being at a time when early human beings that are now a day known as cavemen started to spread out of Africa to other parts of the world.
At the time of early farming and petting of animals for food and utility purposes, speaking of almost 6,000 years back, the disease reported for the first time to have had spread from one human being to another (Stephens, 2003).
In its time, when it first broke out, the disease was considered murderous, and the patients that got ill with it slowly went into the Death Valley. Their family members and even the doctors of those times could not do anything for them but to pray that they die in piece and with less pain.
There is no record about what this disease scored in that time as it was never realized about till the 18th century. Some people considered it a very bad form of throat and chest infection while others thought of it as a form of fever that did not get cured by normal herbal and Unani medicines that were available in those times.
Benjamin Martin was amongst the first people to have discovered the features of a TB bacteria. He discussed that the bacteria had been around for a time long enough to enable it to adapt to different environmental conditions and to respond accordingly.
He was the first to pinpoint it as a contagious disease. In his study, he uncovered the fact that a person who sits near lies with or eats ad drinks with a person who is ill with TB has a high chance of falling ill with it himself. From this, it was evident that the bacteria transported from one body to the other orally or through the nasal cavity.

How do TB bacteria infect the body?

TB bacteria are amongst the very loosely bound bacteria in the body. This means that despite the fact that it is embedded deep in the body and goes nowhere unless treated, it still does not hesitate from leaving the host body to reside in that of the new host. It does not take much for it to travel from one body to another as the medium that it uses is the thin air that everyone breathes in.
Some doctors previously believed that TB virus could not get spread from one person to another without a very close and high-level interaction between the two bodies. For instance, sex was considered to be the cause of its spread; pretty much it was looked like a disease that uncovered sexual relationships between people.
It was later found that it could even get transported through the use of same cutlery. A water glass for instance used by the patient when used by another healthier person without being washed was thought to have been the least level of contact between the two bodies.
There is, however, a great difference between being infected with TB bacteria and being actually ill with TB. It is not necessary that a person who is infected is also ill with it. He might just be a carrier of the bacteria. The difference between the two, however, is based on the level of defense that the body has against the bacteria.
When the defense is strong, it does not stand a chance to make the person ill but in a weak immune system, the bacteria immediately becomes active and starts to play havoc with the human body. The diagnosis of this disease not only saves the ill person from facing horrible stages but also saves the other people who could get affected by the bacteria (World Health Organization, 2009).
Majorly, breathing near the ill person is the most common source of this bacteria’s transfer. It is also spread by singing, when the ill person speaks out loud then this bacterium comes out of the mouth along with the air. So much so, just talking with a person ill with TB is sufficient for these bacteria to find its way to the new host’s body.

How the TB bacteria affect the body?

Based on whether the TB bacteria is just lying in the body or is it active, the effects of TB bacteria are different.

For TB Infection:

It is a very horror some fact that the people who are ill with TB are only 10 percent of the people who got exposed to it. 90% of people never got ill with TB despite having TB bacteria in their body. The only thing that stood between the bacteria and the ailment is the immune system of the body.
In a healthy person, this bacterium gets silenced and goes into an inactive state, in fact, is rather pushed into that state by the immune system. In the bodies that have weak immune systems or are already ill with a big ailment like malaria, HIV, aids or any such disease then it gets active straight away to cause TB disease.
Also, the people who had strong immune system that grew weaker in the coming time also fall ill with it. People who have TB infection are not able to spread it ahead to other people and are thus not contagious.

For TB Disease:

TB disease is caused by active germs of TB. It has been witnessed several times that a person who was infected with TB bacteria for several years suddenly got ill with the disease. Diabetes is also another factor that proves to be a mediating variable in the disease model. For patients that have diabetes grow weaker in the immunity and at one stage they get so weak that TB begins to kick in.

How is it detected in the body?

There are tests to find out whether a person is ill with TB or not and to see if he or she has been infected by it. The most popular form of test is the Tuberculin Skin Test also popularly known as the Mantoux Test. The purpose of this test is to see if a person has been infected or not.
There is a very easy and quick test of checking presence of TB in the body in the form of having the chest X-Rayed. The X-Ray image illustrates entirely the parts that are most likely to have been affected in case of TB infection. A dark region of the lungs and surrounding region in the X-Ray image are the zones that should be feared off.
Sometimes doctors ask possible patients to cough out saliva from the inner part of their throat, almost close to the lungs. This saliva can be tested in a laboratory to see the presence of TB bacteria. But there is a catch; the patients who have this infection in the lung region are the only ones to be diagnosed using these tests. It is very difficult to diagnose people ill with TB who are infected in other parts of their body.
But this is a good thing too as TB infection in other parts of the body, other than lungs cannot be spread. After getting diagnosed with a lung based infection of TB, doctors prescribe a long course of medicines and tablets and suggest routine checking of the chest region with the use of X-Ray to see the progress. The other regions of the body, when infected, however, are treated by injections and drips inserted into the body and bloodstream.

What are signs and symptoms of TB?

Pulmonary TB is what lung and throat based TB infection is named. It can also spread to other parts of the body and the bacteria then gets resided to any part of the body. The most common and easily observable symptoms of having gotten infected with TB are as follow. Also, the patients might have one or more of these symptoms.
A cough that lasts for a very long time is a sign that the patient might have TB bacteria infection. Such a cough can last for three weeks or for longer, and if it does, it is very likely TB.
Another symptom of TB is a rapid loss in body weight; this is a sign of body losing nourishment very quickly. Fat gets burnt very quickly, and the blood dries out slowly. Another reason for this quick loss in weight is poor digestion of food.
The patient who is possibly ill with TB loses appetite and does not feel hungry at all. It can be checked whether the person has worms in his gut because otherwise it is more likely to be TB.
In the cool and shade, a person who might have TB bacteria sweats. Mostly, the person sweats at night.

Fever and temperature comes and goes time and again and also reaches a high mark every time it does.

A person who is possibly ill with TB gets chills for no reason with a cold sensation that runs through the spine and shakes the body, robbing it off precious energy.
A person who is possibly ill with TB feels very weak as if he has been juiced out and has lost all the energy. Pain in the back and pain in joints settles in and does not go away through massage, rest and application of oil. Also, due to less sleep, such a person starts feeling very tired and dizzy during the day.
A pinching pain in the chest resides in and troubles in the breathing, upon breathing hard, the person starts coughing immediately. In a very severe case, the cough can cause damage to the windpipe. The cough is mostly dry in this case and results from a quick exit of air from lungs.

Red and brown colored water

Coughing up blood or brown-colored material comes out of the mouth after coughing and sometimes a mouth full of it. If it is red then it is blood that infected arteries bled out, and if it is a brown material then it is old and TB infected mucus (Pungrassami, 2010).

Treatment of TB:

There are several different bacterial diseases, but they are almost all curable. TB bacteria, however, take a very long time to get cured. While most bacterial diseases get cured in a few weeks, it might take several months for TB to be defeated.
Six to nine month period is required for patient to take medicines of various sorts that nothing but burn the stomach and gut region. The latent TB is easier to cure and need almost 4 months to get cured while the active one needs up to nine months.
There are four drugs that are the prime part of treatment of TB namely isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and either ethambutol or streptomycin. The easiest way to monitor and check progress of a patient fighting TB is to conduct regular tests of saliva and mucus.
Statistics reveals that almost 90% of people who are ill with TB get cured just by using drugs that are meant for the purpose. The time that they take is between 6-9 months, and the pain and suffering are next to nothing (Shin, 2006).
Like other treatments that of TB is also accompanied by side effects. Side effects of TB do not normally occur but when they do, they can be fatal. The main thing that one needs to worry about is the lever that gets affected by these drugs that are always highly toxic.

Here are a few symptoms of one being ill with a side effect of TB drugs.

After having taken the TB curing drug, the patient starts to feel nausea and feels like he will vomit it all out.

The hunger dies almost completely, and a strange tickly feeling in the stomach resides in.

Jaundice is a side effect too. The skin turns pale and yellow, and it looks as if blood has dried out.

Urine of a person who is ill with TB drug side effect is dark brown in color.

A fever with no obvious cause that lasts for three to four days is also a symptom of the ailment from side effect from TB drugs.
These side effects need to be reported to the doctor, this need to be viewed as tests of nerves of the patient. Any patient who can bear the treatment out is almost certain to set himself free from this ailment. Completion of treatment is the most important thing, and minor setbacks in the form of side effects must not be allowed to halt the treatment.

Statistical data:

The very first thing to know about how widespread TB is that a total of one-third of the world’s population is infected with TB at least. As per statistics collected at the end of 2013, total 9 million people worldwide were reported to have fallen ill with TB. In addition to that, in the mentioned year alone, one and half million people died of it.
People who are infected with the HIV virus are the ones who are most killed by TB. What happens is that HIV completely shatters the immune system of a person leaving vacant grounds for the infected TB bacteria to play havoc with a health on.
At all times, almost 3% of people living in the United States are ill with TB. A total of almost 10,000 cases were reported in the year 2013 alone, and this mean they were added to the existing tally of another hundred of thousands. As discussed before, 33% people of the world are infected with TB virus, 90% of people who got infected with TB never got ill with and the 10% that did get ill with it got cured through use of drugs.
Almost 17% people still dies of the ailment worldwide in that year. This percentage varies greatly in different parts of the world. In the United States, this percentage is much lower due to the presence of advanced treatments and drugs while in African countries it can be as high as 70% to spoil the percentage due to poor health management practices and resource shortage.


Stephens, T. T., Braithwaite, R., Cozza, S., Robillard, A., & Arriola, K. J. (2003). History of prior TB infection and HIV/AIDS risk behaviors among a sample of male inmates in the USA. International journal of STD & AIDS, 14(8), 514-518.
World Health Organization. (2009). WHO policy on TB infection control in health-care facilities, congregate settings, and households.
Pungrassami, P., Kipp, A. M., Stewart, P. W., Chongsuvivatwong, V., Strauss, R. P., & Van Rie, A. (2010). Tuberculosis and AIDS stigma among patients who delay seeking care for TB symptoms. The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease: the official journal of the International Union of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 14(2), 181.
Shin, S. S., Pasechnikov, A. D., Gelmanova, I. Y., Peremitin, G. G., Strelis, A. K., Andreev, Y. G., & Keshavjee, S. (2006). Treatment outcomes in an integrated civilian and prison MDR-TB treatment program in Russia. The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 10(4), 402-408.

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