Tuberculosis (TB) or known as the White Plague during the 19th century, has inflicted the human race ever since. It is described as a chronic infectious disease caused by an organism called Mycobacterium tuberculosis through droplet transmission, like coughing, sneezing, or if the person inhales the infected droplet.
It can be considered as primary or secondary infection depending on recovery of the client from the communicable infection. It is a reportable communicable disease and a repeated exposure to it causes a person to acquire it.
According to a study conducted by Knechel, the progression of tuberculosis has several stages.
1. Latent Tuberculosis – It is the stage of infection when the person who had been exposed to the M. tuberculosis nuclei does not manifest signs and symptoms of the disease and do not have the capacity to infect other people. The nuclei just persist in the system in its necrotic form which could stay for a long time, not until that immunosuppression or a certain factor triggers it to become its virulent form.
2. Primary Pulmonary Tuberculosis – Since the most immediate location of pathogenesis of the organism is in the lungs, primary activation of disease in the pulmonary cavity is considered. It is usually asymptomatic and only identified through significant diagnostic examinations. Only the presence of lymphadenopathy is something that is indicative for its infection.
3. Primary Progressive Tuberculosis – It is the stage of the disease process when it is already considered as active. Clinical manifestations are evident and the client may reveal positive in sputum examination for presence of the organism. Sometimes, he or she may manifest cough with purulent sputum and some pleuritic chest pains because of inflammation in the parenchymal walls.
4. Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis – It is when tuberculosis extends its infection to other parts of the aside from the pulmonary cavity. The most fatal location is the central nervous system and its infection to the bloodstream. Other locations may include the lymphatic system, the bones and joints and at times the genitourinary system.