By E. Conklin
The devastating bacteria so few know about...
Tuberculosis is a bacteria that has about one fourth of the world’s population infected, and about 1 percent (75 million) of the world gets infected every year. This bacteria is treatable with antibiotics, but most of the afflicted are poor so they do not have access to health insurance. As a result, roughly 5% of all the people that get infected with tuberculosis a year die. This is not the most deadly bacteria in the world, but has the most people infected. When you have active tuberculosis you may suffer from these symptoms; coughing up blood; loss of appetite; weight loss; fatigue, and fever. If you start suffering from any of these symptoms see a doctor immediately for help, and cover your mouth so you don’t spread the bacteria to others.
The reason tuberculosis is not the most deadly disease is because there are two forms that the bacteria can be in inside the body.
One is called active tuberculosis, and this is when the bacteria is fighting on has already fought your immune system. When you have active tuberculosis if you can spread the bacteria by coughing, and the bacteria can survive in the air for hours. About 7 million people get active tuberculosis every year. The other circumstance is when your body defeats the tuberculosis when it enters your body for the first time, but instead of being wiped out some of the bacteria hide inside of dead or living macrophages (which are like your body’s soldiers), and can remain dormant for years. This is called latent tuberculosis, and can become active if you smoke or if you have AIDS. It can also become active if you get reinfected.
We are very lucky that our lives are not affected by tuberculosis, but many people are not as fortunate as we are. Thousands of people suffer every day because they cannot afford antibiotics. We need to help them by donating to the tuberculosis effort. Find an NGO, contribute, and help save lives. Remember just because we cannot see people suffering does not mean it isn’t happening.
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