Welcome to Episode 117

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Tip of The Week- Tuberculosis Review

Tuberculosis or TB is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body. TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or talks.

Individuals who have been exposed to the bacteria may not necessarily exhibit symptoms especially if they have a strong immune system, however, a tuberculin test or special TB blood test will show a positive reaction. Those infected with latent TB will not spread the bacteria but will progress to active TB if their immune system weakens.

Since tuberculosis is highly infectious, nurses and caregivers have to take special precautions to prevent the spread or contracting the infection like isolation, use of personal protective equipment and proper disposal and disinfection of sputum stained articles like utensils, sheets and the like.

It is also necessary to let the patient understand the importance of completing and adhering to the medication regimen for patients with latent TB to prevent active TB disease, and for patients with active TB to eradicate the bacteria and avoid recurrence.

Tuberculosis by WHO

Tuberculosis: Medline Plus

CDC – Tuberculosis (TB)

CDC- TB Continuing Education Activities


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3 Responses to Tuberculosis Nurse Review and Episode 117

  1. Sylvia says:

    In NJ, school nurses had the right to place a Mantoux on all students from out of country who were entering school for the first time. Now we are only to test students from specific countries (as specified from the NJDHSS).
    Due to the increase in TB throughout the world, and the way people move from place to place, would you find that schools should test all new students entering from countries other than the U.S.?

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