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Nursing Diagnosis for Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, a bacterial infection, most commonly affects the lungs. Tuberculosis can also affect the central nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, genitourinary system, bones and joints. Often Called TB for short, tuberculosis is the most common major infectious disease today. With that title the virus is infecting two billion people which is approximately one-third of the world's population. Nine million new cases of active disease annually, resulting in two million deaths. Most of these cases and deaths are in developing countries.

The disease tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis can affect any part of the body but usually infects the lungs. Tuberculosis is spread through airborne droplets occurring when an infected individual sneezes, talks, or coughs. However, prolonged exposure to the infected individual must occur before you may become infected. The body may harbor the bacteria while the immune system prevents sickness. For this reason, there are two forms of TB: latent tuberculosis and active tuberculosis.

In many patients the infection of Tuberculosis waxes and wanes. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics kills bacteria and allows healing to take place. Areas where Tuberculosis has affected will eventually be replaced by scar tissue. A complete medical evaluation for Tuberculosis includes a medical history, a physical examination, a tuberculin skin test, a serological test, a chest X-ray, and microbiologic smears and cultures. This is quite an extensive procedure as you can see, but if you look at the numbers above it is a necessary process.

Active tuberculosis simply means that the tuberculosis bacteria are growing within the body causing an active infection. Signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis include fatigue, slight fever, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, a cough that lasts three or more weeks producing discolored or bloody sputum, and pain with coughing or breathing. Active tuberculosis is highly contagious.

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Nursing Diagnosis for Tuberculosis

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