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Climate Change Effects: Tuberculosis
Transcript of Climate Change Effects: Tuberculosis
Climate Change Effects: Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Koch’s Bacillus. It is spread when a person with the disease coughs speaks or breathes and the airborne bacteria is inhaled by another person. Sometimes the body can fight the infection and keep the bacteria in a dormant state. This is called a Latent Tuberculosis Infection. However, if the body’s immune system grows too weak to continue fighting, the bacteria will multiply and become active. In this case, the patient is then infected with Tuberculosis Disease. Tuberculosis is not easily caught; many people who have it contacted because of their weak immune system. Such a weakness is often caused by HIV/AIDs. The virus attacks the immune system making it easy to catch normally hard to catch diseases.
Tuberculosis most often develops in the lungs although it can affect the brain, spine and other parts of the body. The bacteria causes the death of the cells in the body and the infection can even spread through the bloodstream. A patient with the disease will experience a bad cough, pain in their chest and blood in their saliva and phlegm. They will also experience fatigue, weight loss, chills fever, intense sweating and a loss of appetite. If it spreads to other locations like bones or the brain the syptoms may vary; they may have pain in the effected areas, vomiting neck stiffness fever headaches and seizures.
A patient who is infected but does not have the disease (latent) will not experience any symptoms. It is also noncommunicable in this state.
Since there are two states a person could have of Tuberculosis, there are two paths of treatment. For Latent Tuberculosis, there are three drugs used and four treatment methods. Isoniazid (INH), rifampin (RIF) and rifapentine (RPT) are used in the following regimens:
Treament for TB:
TB disease is much more difficult t treat because the patient’s immune system is too weak to fend off the disease. Therefore, physicians use isoniazid (INH), rifampin (RIF), ethambutol (EMB), pyrazinamide (PZA) as well as other medications for treatment.
Regimens for treating TB disease begin with a phase of 2 months, followed by the continuation phase of either 4 or 7 months.
It is important, as with all antibiotic courses, that the patient completes the regimen. Failure to do this can allow the bacteria to form a resistance to the medication. Drug Resistant bacteria is more dangerous expensive and difficult to treat.
Some ways to control tuberculosis is to cover the your mouth and nose when you cough. In severe cases, a patient may be put under quarantine to keep the bacteria from spreading.
It has been found that one of the ways that tuberculosis infections may be increasing because of the change in UV exposure due to climate change(changes in cloud patterns ozone depletion). If a patient does not receive enough vitamin D, they may become vitamin d deficient. This weakens the immune system and makes them more susceptible to tuberculosis. Climate change’s effect on HIV/AIDs also affects tuberculosis. Droughts and lack of food may cause communities to ration their supplies amongst themselves. If one person with AIDs has contact with the communities water supply and he/she contaminates the water, the entire community is at a high risk to contract HIV/AIDs. Since AIDs weakens the immune system, those infected can easily catch tuberculosis.
There has not been much of a change in the distribution of tuberculosis recently, although there was an increase in cases from 2012 to 2013. A total of 9,421 TB cases (a rate of 2.96 cases per 100,000 persons) were reported in the United States in 2014. In the same year, 555 people died of the disease.