Patho Essay

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Tuberculosis Pathophysiology It is an infection that is usually caused by a slow growing bacillus, and it primarily affects the lungs, but the pathogen may invade other organs as well. This bacillus is an acid fast, aerobic, slow growing bacillus that is resistant to drying and to many disinfectants. There are two stages; primary infection and secondary infection. Primary infection occurs when the microorganism first enter the lungs and are engulfed by macrophages and cause a local inflammatory reaction. The secondary infection is the stage of active infection. It often arises years after the primary infection because of hidden bacillus in the tubercles. Etiology This is caused by oral droplets released from a person with an active infection that are inhaled into the lungs. It occurs more frequently in persons living in crowded conditions or those whose resistance is lowered because of immunodeficiency, malnutrition, alcoholism, conditions of war or chronic disease. Signs / Symptoms Primary tuberculosis is asymptomatic. The onset of secondary tuberculosis is insidious. Systemic signs often appear first, with vague manifestations such as anorexia, malaise, and fatigue and weight loss. Afternoon, low grade fever and night sweats develop and cough is prolonged and becomes increasingly severe and, as cavitation develops, more productive. Sputum becomes purulent and often contains blood. Diagnostic First exposure or primary infection is indicated by a positive tuberculin test result. Active infection can be confirmed by a chest x-ray, acid fast staining of sputum specimens, and sputum culture. A CT-scan may also be performed. Treatment A person with tuberculosis is usually treated at home or in general hospital. Long term treatment with a combination of drugs is recommended, so as to totally eradicate the infecting microbes and reduce the risk

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