Pulmonary tuberculosis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that affects the lungs. It is an airborne infection that can destroy any body tissue. However, the most affected tissues are the ones in the lungs. But it still can and will spread to other tissues in the body. Fortunately, TB is curable especially if the disease is diagnosed early and a antibiotic treatment is applied.
Though pulmonary TB is no longer considered an epidemic in modern times, during the 18th and 19th centuries in North America and Europe it was a widespread disease living death in its wake. Not until 1944 with the development of streptomycin, an antibiotic were infected people find a cure and control the spread of pulmonary TB. However, it is still important to have protection against TB.
Latent TB is a condition where an individual has TB but is not sick or contagious. The immune system protects the individual from getting sick. However, they still need to be tested, because it is still possible that a latent TB can still develop into active TB. If you have latent TB and started showing symptoms, you can be contagious. Have your self tested for pulmonary TB.
The signs and symptoms of pulmonary TB include but not limited to:
- Continuous coughing
- Coughing up of blood
- Persistent or consistent low-grade fever
- Night sweats are also common
- Chest pains
- Unexplained weight loss
Pulmonary TB can be spread by means of:
- Body contact, such as shaking hands with an infected person
- Sharing food and drinks or utensils with a person with pulmonary TB
- Kissing or any form of body contact
An individual may be infected with the pulmonary TB virus if he or she gets to breathe in the air from a person who is infected with TB. This is possible when the infected person coughs, sneezes laughs and sings in front of people.
There are many risk factors that will contribute to the development of Pulmonary TB are the following:
Places that include:
- Correctional facilities
- Group homes
- Nursing homes
And the individuals who are at risk of developing TB are older adults, small children, smokers, people who are diagnosed to HIV or AIDS, people under chemotherapy, people with diabetes or people with autoimmune diseases.
If you think you are suffering from Pulmonary Tuberculosis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Pulmonary Tuberculosis as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).