Professor S. Blystone
English 0311 TR 9:00 - 10:20
5 March 2013 Tuberculosis
What do you know about Tuberculosis? Did you know TB is one of the highest
active diseases here in El Paso? Sit back and ask to yourself, have you ever actually
thought about Tuberculosis? What are its symptoms, and what may it cause? Did you
know there are UTEP students active with TB? Maybe some of you have experienced it
for yourself or because of a family member or somebody close to you, but what about
those that have never even heard of it? Tuberculosis is a very contagious disease, and
a very deadly disease, but with a cure if it’s treated on time.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that for the most part affects the lungs. It is
caused by the bacteria known under the name Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. This
bacteria is spread through different ways, such as: sneezing, singing, coughing and
other ways it can spread along, from an infected person to another person.
That’s why most cases of being infected with TB is with relatives or family members.
When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle into the lungs and begin
to grow. Before discoveries of some antibiotic drugs back in the 1940s, TB was one of
the leading causes of death in the United States. TB is a disease that is not really as
common in the U.S. as it is in other much poor countries or border cities such as El
Paso, but it has been increasing in the most recent years due to HIV, AIDS, as well as
other drug resistant forms of TB. Up to one third of the world's population may be
infected with TB, though the infection may not be active, which just means having the
bacteria inside of you but not in an active form.
Doctors usually distinguish between inactive infection, where you have the
disease but no symptoms and you are not contagious, and an active infection, which is
the opposite of inactive. After you are infected, your immune system will attack the
bacteria causing one of the three scenarios, your body may kill the bacteria, the bacteria
may remain in your body but not cause an active infection, or you may develop the
disease. While lung infection is the most common infection of TB, it can also attack
other part of your body, such as the brain and spine. Finally, TB bacteria may cause
symptoms such as: Mild fever, headache, chills, night sweats, malaise, fatigue, loss of
appetite, weight loss, cough with or without mucus and pus, coughing up blood, chest
pain from pleurisy, difficulty of breathing, swollen glands, and sore throat.
Even though it’s a disease that can cause death it is a disease that is curable if
it’s detected in time. Being a border city and having more contact with people of two
countries there are more medical clinics that specialize in Tuberculosis cases. There are
many ways to get help, such as clinics