Tuberculosis, more commonly known as TB, is a kind of bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The infection primarily inhibits our lungs, but the bacteria can travel to other parts of our body through the bloodstream. TB infections are initially so mild that a person suffering from it might not even be aware of the same until he suffers some serious TB symptoms like sudden weight loss, constant coughing, loss of appetite, sweating etc. People with healthy immune system can combat the infection by shielding the bacteria into a tiny capsule - tubercules. In this case the bacteria remains alive, but the infection cannot spread to the surrounding tissues. This is called latent TB. On the other hand, when the infection stays in our lungs it is called active TB, and this form of TB is very contagious. The most commonly used diagnosis for TB disease is tuberculosis skin test. In this form of diagnosis, a small amount of PPD tuberculin is injected into the patient just below the skin in the lower part of his arm. A general physician will check the injected area within the next 48 to 72 hours to check if there is any kind of swelling in the area. If your arm shows off a hard red bump, then it signifies that you're suffering from TB. In addition, the diagnosis for TB disease also reveals whether you're suffering from TB that is drug susceptible (Specialty Diagnostics in Tuberculosis Treatment) or drug resistant. The cost of treating drug resistant TB is much higher than treating the infection that is drug susceptible and varies from one place to another. But on an average, TB treatment costs around $1000 or less per person and it takes 6 to 9 months of time to recover a person suffering from TB, provided he takes the right dose of medicine at the right point of time as prescribed by the physician.
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