How Is Tuberculosis Transmitted ?

What Is TB ?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious bacterial infection which is caused by the bacteria named Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In the most cases, it affect the lungs but in some individuals it affects any part of the body. It spread from one organ to the other. When it’s not treated, it can cause a major life threatening diseases like the permanent lung damage. Pulmonary TB is curable when it is diagnosed early with antibiotic treatment.

In the U.S, Tuberculosis (tb) is being the main cause of death. According to WHO, in worldwide, there are almost 10 billion people got a TB infection.

How Does TB Spread ?

TB is a dangerous airborne disease so it spreads from one person to the other through the air. It is highly contagious disease. When a person who got infected with TB coughs, sneezes or talk to the other person, it’s transmitted through the air. It’s the reason why TB patients are asked to cover-up their mouth when the people are near. Because of this reason, you can see the people who work in health clinics sometimes wearing a mask.

TB is Not Spreading

You don’t get TB through skin contractions such us shaking hands or through kissing.

how is tuberculosis transmitted

Which People With TB Are Infectious ?

  • Not all people are equally infectious. But the people with TB in lungs or throat are called the infectious.
  • People who are in the effective treatment are less infectious. When a person get an effective treatment, the number of outgoing infectious droplets are very less when they speak, sneeze and cough. The strength of cough also determines the number of droplets released.
  • Though some individuals have TB bacteria in their body, their infection is not shown. It’s because, their body do not allow the TB bacteria grown. This kind of patients are called to have the Latent TB. These people with latent TB are not infectious.
  • However, if their body is not suppresses the TB organism, it automatically grown so they become infectious.

When  Mycobacterium tuberculosis is released via air, it gets into another person and they get grown in their body, if they are infectious. When it released at the outdoor, it will get killed immediately by the sun light. However, It will live unto 4 hours before it dies in the indoor. Their mode of transmission is through air. So when the tests are taken, physician  must be careful to not spread the infections outside.

Can Tuberculosis Be Spread From Animals ?

Yes. through foods and other touched items. It spreads from humans to animals and animals to human.

Is TB Curable?

Yes, if the correct drugs are given to the patients for the complete duration of treatment, they will get a cure. They won’t infect the disease and make others sick. Anyhow the failure occurs because the doctors have delivered incorrect regime or the patients might not able to take the drugs for the specified duration of times in a correct way. (Reasons can be multiple). In such cases ,this can lead to a drug resistant TB. However, some patients may already have drug resistance TB and if they treated without taking drug susceptibility testing, the chances of treatment failure become so high.

How Will You Know If You Are Cured Of Tuberclosis?

The duration period of Tuberculosis treatment for both active infections & Latent tuberculosis infection might take between  6 to 9 months. It involves in many different medications. It is often treated with the combination of medications. Anyhow the treatment duration will be determined by the physician based on individual. Some bacteria strains are be resistant to some of the drugs. Based on such analysis and how long will it take to stop spreading the disease physician will determine the duration. Some are known to stop spreading the bacteria in 2 weeks or so, immediately after taking the medication while in others may take even up to 9 months to become non contagious. Studies suggest that the reduction of symptoms on a person that too immediately after 2 weeks can’t make them uncontagious.

How To Prevent The Tuberculosis?

When you identify the active or latent TB infection, you must treat it until it become cured. In case of latent TB infection, the doctor might advice you to take the medication to avoid the risk of developing the active TB. The main type of Tuberculosis which can spread the TB to the lungs and others is known as Active TB infection. So you can actually prevent the tuberculosis from spreading to others only when it is treated.

Here are some of the tips if you have an active TB

Do This and Protect Your Family & Friends From The TB

If you are diagnosed with active TB, you should keep the Germs yourself. You should be very careful during the first weeks of your treatment. After that you are not contagious anymore. So adhere the following rules when you are with your friends, family and others.

  • Stay At Home :Take a leave if you work in office or studying in school. Isolate yourself and be in home while you are taking the medication for active tuberculosis. Don’t sleep or do anything with the people in your home.
  •  Expose The Air Outside : Tuberculosis gems used to spread more easily in a constrained place. So ventilate your room, open the windows if its closed or use fan to expose the air outside.
  • Use A Tissue or Kerchief : Make use of kerchief or a tissue whenever you are laughing or sneezing or coughing. As you might know TB is airborne disease. Don’t forget to throw away the used tissues after putting in a bag, sealing it.
  • Wear A Mask During The First Few Weeks : Always wear a surgical mask during the initial stages of the diagnosis and treatment. Because during this time the risk of transmitting the disease is high.

So now you know how tuberculosis is transmitted and how to prevent others from tuberculosis

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