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Understanding Tuberculosis

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Image is from CDC

Tuberculosis, TB, is an airborne bacterial infection. While other organs and tissues may be involved, it normally affects the lungs first.

What You Need To Know

While most people who have TB are not contagious, the disease is spread through the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, laughs, sings, or talks. If you are nearby and breath in those germs, there is a chance that you can become infected.

There is a difference between having active TB disease and being infected, known as latent TB. Latent TB is diagnosed when you have the TB germs in your body, but your immune system is strong enough to keep you from getting sick, and you are not contagious.

However, if you are diagnosed with active TB disease, you will have symptoms and you will be contagious. Therefore, it is critical to see a doctor right away.

Unfortunately, there are some forms of TB that are not eliminated with the usual medications prescribed. That means the TB germs in your body are resistant to them. These types of TB are classified as MDR TB and XDR TB.

MDR TB (multi-drug resistant) is resistant to the standard medication regime for active TB and is more serious. XDR TB is resistant to both standard and secondary drugs for treatment and any treatment rendered can be longer, expensive and more difficult. These forms of TB occur when medication is mismanaged or misused. For example:

  • If you do not complete the full course of treatment
  • If your doctor prescribes the wrong treatment, dose, or duration.
  • If medication is not available
  • If medication is of poor quality

It is more common in people who:

  • Do not take their medication regularly
  • Do not take medications for the full duration of treatment
  • Contract it a second time
  • Come from places where drug-resistant TB is more common
  • Have been around someone who has it

The good news is it is not easy to contract TB. You usually have to be close to someone infected for a long time. This is why it is often spread between family members, coworkers, and close friends.

What TB Does To Your Body

If you have a weakened immune system, you are at greater risk for developing TB. Some examples of conditions, treatments, and ages that cause weakened immunity are:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Leukemia
  • Viral Hepatitis
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Getting Chemotherapy
  • Elderly
  • Children under the age of 5

If you any of the above apply, the bacteria associated with TB is likely to settle in your lungs and start growing right away, because your immune system isn’t strong enough to fight it off. The disease will develop quickly, within days or weeks. If you are healthy and contract TB, it may take months, or even years to develop.

While TB attacks the lungs, it can also invade other parts of the body, such as:

  • Spine
  • Brain
  • Kidneys
  • Bones
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Skin

This is because the bacteria can move from the lungs through the blood and lymphatic systems. Symptoms of active disease include:

  • Cough
  • Weight Loss
  • Night Sweats
  • Fever
  • Chills

If other parts of the body are infected, symptoms specific to that area will occur. For example, if it has spread to your bones, you will have bone pain.

Despite what many people think, TB is not a disease of the past. About one third of the world’s population are infected. That is almost 2.5 billion people. Of those people 9.6 million have active TB. It is curable, however. Therefore it is important to recognize the symptoms, see a doctor right away, and follow the treatment ordered.

 

 

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Symptoms of Whooping Cough

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Due to the years of medical research, many of the ‘old time’ illness, such as the following showed rarity. Medical communities all agreed that there was no longer any need to vaccine children and adults due no incidents of these diseases reported for many years.

Now in recent years these ‘old time’ illnesses are starting to rear their ugly head because vaccinations stopped. Now the CDC is starting to urge you and your children to be vaccinated once again. A DPT vaccination is a combination of Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus.

Those vaccinated need a revaccination against this with a TDap booster. Whooping Cough is a serious disease and can cause death. Every age group should get a vaccination to protect them against this illness. It is hard to diagnose Whooping Cough because the symptoms are that of a common cold.

  • Whooping Cough
  • Chicken Pox
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Polio

Whooping Cough, Pertussis, or the 100-Day Cough

Whooping Cough is a difficult and challenging illness for any child or adult. This disease takes on a more difficult elimination, and the signs and symptoms become worse in seniors and infants.

If you, as an adult, or a baby is exposed to Pertussis it takes from five to ten days and sometimes up to three weeks to develop symptoms.

If you received a vaccination and then exposed to Whooping Cough, your cough would not last as long. If a baby contracts Pertussis and they are less than one year of age, hospitalization is usually required. Symptoms of this illness include,

  • A whooping type cough
  • Constant coughing fits
  • Instances of vomiting after coughing fits
  • Symptoms mimicking a cold such as, mild cough and low-grade fever
  • Periods of apnea in babies

Early on in the process of this illness symptoms can last for one to a few weeks and may include,

  • A mild and occasional cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Episodes of apnea in a baby
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Common cold or bronchitis

If you have a baby with Whooping Cough, the chances of them coughing may not be apparent. Instead, a child displays apnea and cyanosis (bluish tinge to the skin) from lack of oxygen.

As this illness progresses, symptoms become more intense after one to two weeks. These symptoms can include,

  • You have frequent, rapid coughing. Coughing fits come so frequently and violently it takes all the air from your lungs. To breathe you must try to take in a deep breath causing a whooping sound.
  • Vomiting, sometimes
  • Extreme fatigue

There is no quick recovery from Pertussis. Coughing fits last for weeks, usually up to and exceeding 10-weeks.

Vaccinations for Whooping Cough lessen the duration and intensity of a cough and time ill.

Recovery

Recovery is slow and agonizing. A cough starts to decrease and is milder. Symptoms can return over the course of many months, whenever you develop another respiratory infection.

Vaccination against Diphtheria,Tetanus, and Pertussis is essential to good health and lessens the symptoms should you get any of these illnesses.

This vaccination is essential to good health and lessens the symptoms should you get any of these illnesses.Vaccinations are highly safe, but you may experience some mild reactions such as in the following.

  • Mild pain and redness at injection site
  • Mild fever
  • Slight headache
  • Mild fatigue

When you consider full-blown Pertussis and the weeks and months of difficult recovery, these few possible reactions are minimal and you will be glad you protected yourself and children from Whooping Cough.

Pertussis is on the rise and proves a very contagious respiratory infection. Vaccination of adults and children every ten years is essential for a healthy life.

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Understanding Whooping Cough

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Image is from Live Science

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection also known as pertussis. The infection gets into your nose and throat, and it is very contagious. When a person with whooping cough sneezes, coughs, or laughs, small drops of the bacteria can fly into the air. When a person walks by and breathes in the air, they can develop the disease if they haven’t completed their series of vaccines or if they have not had a booster shot. Fortunately, there are vaccines such as Tdap and DtaP that can prevent both adults and children from contracting the disease.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough

The early symptoms of whooping cough start out like a cold. You can have a mild cough, sneezing, a runny nose, and a low-grade fever below 102. After about 7 to 10 days, the cough will start getting worse. A mild cough can turn into coughing fits. By the time the disease is full blown, you will create a whooping sound when you cough as you try to fill your lungs with oxygen. Since the cough is dry and not productive, you can have a coughing spell that can last for up to a minute. During this time, you face can turn red or purple. There are, however, some people who don’t have coughing spells .When an infant has whooping cough, they won’t have the whooping sound or the cough. They will just gasp, trying to catch their breath. Also, some babies will vomit.

Whooping Cough is Extremely Dangerous in Babies

If a child under 6 months old and they develop whooping, cough, they would need to be hospitalized. Even if you think that your child could have this disease, you should take them to a doctor immediately. When a child under 18 months old has whooping cough, they would need to be watched at all times. This is because the disease can cause the baby to stop breathing, and they would need help to get their breathing started again.

Preventing Whooping Cough

Babies get a series of DtaP shots when they are 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 months old, a 15 to 18 months old. They are then given a booster shot between 4 and 6 years old. Because a baby won’t be fully protected against the disease until they are 18 months old, the best way to prevent them from developing whooping cough is to make sure that any adult who will be around the child has been vaccinated. This includes parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family members. If you baby is in a licensed daycare, the people who work in these facilities will have been vaccinated. It is the law.

Treating Whooping Cough

If you have whooping cough and it is diagnosed early, the doctor can put you on antibiotics to help stop the coughing and the other symptoms. The antibiotics can also stop the disease from spreading. Unfortunately, whooping cough is often diagnosed too late for antibiotics to work well. You should avoid using over the counter medications to treat the cough as they won’t work. Finally, if the coughing is so bad that you are unable to drink, you should contact our doctor. If you are unable to drink fluids, you could become dehydrated.

Whooping cough can make the life of an adult miserable. The constant coughing can make it difficult to sleep at night and even to hold a conversation. When a baby has whooping cough, it can be much more dangerous. Prevention, early diagnosis, are treatment are very important if you get whooping cough, no matter how old you are.

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