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Tuberculosis:

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculi. It can affect any part of the body but starts as a respiratory illness as a cough, fever, weight loss. Respiratory/Pulmonary tuberculosis is contagious and spreads by coughing up of sputum containing these bugs as a air droplets. It is diagnosed by sputum testing, Chest X ray, Bronchoscopy, CT chest imaging studies. If not treated properly it can lead to a devastaing disease called Multi drug or Total drug resistant tuberculosis(MDR-TB, XDR or TDR-TB). Extra pulmonary tuberculosis(EPTB) is defined as a tuberculosis affecting other than lungs. It can affect virtually any organ but usually seen as fluid around the lungs, neck lymph node or mediastinal lymph nodes swelling. Cancers like lymphoma can behave similar to EPTB and one has to be cautious in starting emperical TB treatment without proper tissue diagnosis. This can lead to a delay in cancer diagnosis and treatment.