Primary infection with tubercle bacillus usually occurs in childhood. In the body of a healthy person, immunity is maintained by the presence of a focus of a dormant infection.
The term “tuberculosis” is of Latin origin and means “tubercle”. This name is due to the fact that tuberculosis of the skin often manifests itself in the form of a kind of protrusion on the skin — a tubercle. The causative agent of the disease is a tubercle bacillus or Koch’s bacillus — an extremely stable microbe in the external environment. The bacterium remains active for a long time in dried sputum, soil and is not susceptible to many disinfectants. The main mechanism of infection with a tubercle bacillus is through the air. You can also become infected through the use of products containing the pathogen, as well as through contact with objects on which the microbe is located.
Tuberculosis and its forms
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by Koch’s bacillus. Various organs and tissues of the body can be infected: eyes, skin, intestines, genitourinary system, etc. Pulmonary tuberculosis is the most common.
The course of the disease in children has a number of features. Pulmonary tuberculosis in children is more severe than in adults and can provoke many complications. This is due to the fact that the immune system of babies is not yet formed and cannot immediately limit the focus of infection.
In children under two years of age, a wide spread of the disease is possible: tuberculous meningitis, miliary tuberculosis, tuberculous sepsis, etc. In older children, the immune system is able to limit the infection at the level of the lungs, and they are more likely to develop pulmonary tuberculosis. Factors of infection with tuberculosis are poor nutrition, lack of vitamins, general physical weakness.
Tuberculosis can be divided into two forms: pulmonary and extrapulmonary.
The following forms of pulmonary tuberculosis are distinguished:
- cavernous, etc.
Forms of extrapulmonary tuberculosis:
- tuberculosis of the genitourinary system;
- tuberculosis of the digestive system;
- tuberculosis of the central nervous system;
- tuberculosis of bones and joints;
- tuberculosis of the skin and eyes.
According to the form of the course of the disease, open and closed forms can be distinguished. The open form of pulmonary tuberculosis is characterized by excretion into the causative agent of the disease into the external environment along with sputum. A patient with an open form should follow the doctor’s recommendations to avoid infecting others: use individual dishes that should be stored and washed separately, carry a spittoon with a tight-fitting lid and spit sputum only there, wash your linen separately from the general one, etc.
Tuberculosis symptoms are varied and non-specific: weakness, fatigue, sweating, slight fever, chills. Often the child is worried about coughing — from a slight cough to severe attacks with sputum and blood. In mild forms of pulmonary tuberculosis, the symptoms may be mistaken for those of the common cold. Parents should be alerted by a cough that lasts more than three weeks in a row, loss of appetite, decreased attention, fever for no apparent reason for a long time.
Tuberculous meningitis or miliary tuberculosis has more characteristic symptoms: impaired consciousness, shortness of breath, high fever.
The examination begins with the detection of extrapulmonary forms of tuberculosis. The doctor determines whether there is pain, bone deformity, swelling in the abdomen. A characteristic symptom of tuberculosis is weight loss.
The main method for diagnosing pulmonary tuberculosis is an X‑ray examination. Sputum tests are carried out, a Mantoux skin test is done. If the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis is confirmed, treatment begins immediately.
Treatment of acute pulmonary tuberculosis should take place in specialized hospitals. Self-treatment is in no case unacceptable! Medical therapy is well established and highly effective.
The room in which the sick child is located should be bright and regularly ventilated. Floor, furniture must be wet cleaned every day. If there are no special instructions from the doctor, then in dry and calm weather, the child needs to spend more time outdoors. At the same time, it must be remembered that excessive exposure to direct sunlight on unprotected skin can provoke an exacerbation of the disease. It is advisable to conduct treatment courses from time to time in specialized dispensaries located in dry and warm climatic zones, remote from industrial centers.
In the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, a complete balanced diet is extremely important. Food should be high-calorie, rich in vitamins. Every day you need to consume at least 60 grams of protein, half of which should be protein of animal origin.
The degree of physical activity of a patient who is on outpatient treatment should be determined by himself, based on his capabilities. Excessive activity through force is contraindicated. Mustard plasters, banks and other physiotherapeutic procedures are not allowed.
If pulmonary tuberculosis proceeded atypically and the diagnosis was made late, then surgical treatment is sometimes indicated: blowing air into the pleural cavity or removing part or all of the lung.
Prevention of tuberculosis goes in two directions: prevention of the disease in children who did not have tuberculosis and prevention of the disease in children who had contact with patients. In the first case, a BCG vaccine is given, which provides immunity.
In the second case, measures to prevent tuberculosis begin after the onset of symptoms of a possible disease. The child is prescribed a course of Isoniazid at a dose of 5 mg / kg for six months.
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