George Schiffman, MD, FCCP
Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Tuberculosis facts
- What is tuberculosis?
- How does a person get TB?
- What happens to the body when a person gets TB?
- How common is TB, and who gets it?
- What are the symptoms and signs of tuberculosis?
- How does a doctor diagnose tuberculosis?
- Is there a vaccine against tuberculosis?
- What is the treatment for tuberculosis?
- What is drug-resistant TB?
- What's in the future for TB?
- Patient Comments: Tuberculosis - After Treatment
- Patient Comments: Tuberculosis - Experience
- Patient Comments: Tuberculosis - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Tuberculosis - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Tuberculosis - Treatments
- Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection, primarily in the lungs (a pneumonia), caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread usually from person to person by breathing infected air during close contact.
- TB can remain in an inactive (dormant) state for years without causing symptoms or spreading to other people.
- When the immune system of a patient with dormant TB is weakened, the TB can become active (reactivate) and cause infection in the lungs or other parts of the body.
- The risk factors for acquiring TB include close-contact situations, alcohol and IV drug abuse, and certain diseases (for example, diabetes, cancer, and HIV) and occupations (for example, health-care workers).
- The most common symptoms and signs of TB are fatigue, fever, weight loss, coughing, and night sweats.
- The diagnosis of TB involves skin tests, chest X-rays, sputum analysis (smear and culture), and PCR tests to detect the genetic material of the causative bacteria.
- Inactive tuberculosis may be treated with an antibiotic, isoniazid (INH), to prevent the TB infection from becoming active.
- Active TB is treated, usually successfully, with INH in combination with one or more of several drugs, including rifampin (Rifadin), ethambutol (Myambutol), pyrazinamide, and streptomycin.
- Drug-resistant TB is a serious, as yet unsolved, public-health problem, especially in Southeast Asia, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Africa, and in prison populations. Poor patient compliance, lack of detection of resistant strains, and unavailable therapy are key reasons for the development of drug-resistant TB.
- The occurrence of HIV has been responsible for an increased frequency of tuberculosis. Control of HIV in the future, however, should substantially decrease the frequency of TB.
Next: What is tuberculosis?
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