The Potential NTM Epidemic In The U.S.
About 180 species of nontuberculous mycobacteria exist, and for anyone who values their health and well being, they should take a number as high as that into serious consideration. For those unfamiliar with the subject of what an ntm infection is, it is important to factor in that Nontuberculous mycobacteria is a naturally-occurring organism. This is basically a set of environmental pathogens that can be found in both water and soil. This infection is most detrimental to the lungs, and although it isn’t a quickly progressive disease, it can still cause a great deal of damage to an individual’s lungs over the course of the time it has to develop into a highly destructive disease.
Symptoms Associated with an ntm infection
Although an ntm infection works at what some would probably treat with the same attitude of a snail’s pace, the fact that it can affect an individual’s airways and lung tissue, which can then lead to disease is no laughing matter. Other factors that can result from an ntm infection include inflammation in the respiratory system, and without treatment, the possibility of a person developing a progressively evolved lung infection will indeed occur. The lung infection symptoms associated with people exposed to nontuberculous mycobacteria is characterized by coughing, a shortness of breath, fatigue, and severe weight loss.
The Dangerous Expansion Of an ntm infection
Although not every individual is capable of being exposed to nontuberculous mycobacteria, the fact that in the U.S. an increasing average as high 180,000 people with an ntm infection is a terrifying estimate to consider. This estimate of exposure may only accumulate to just 8.2%, but the fact that this number continues to grow is frightening, especially since the concept of exposure itself can seem to embody that of a very random pattern, which can mostly be attributed to the fact that it is essentially an environmental matter.
Treating An ntm infection
Any illness, serious or not is to be taken into consideration, given that although NTM isn’t as lethal as a lot of other illnesses out there, it is still a matter to be taken seriously given that the rate of exposure is growing for adults within the 65 and older range age groups. However, the fact that this disease continues to grow only increases the potential risk given that it’s exposure isn’t limited or exclusive to any individual within those mentioned age groups.Treatment is essential, and if not handled responsibly, it can last to a period encompassing of 12 months or more. Nobody wants to be taking antibiotics that will most likely serve to combat a disease that is capable of creating immensely chronic problems that will not only be long lasting, but even progressive given that even with the self-awareness and application of treatment, the factor of exposure still remains as existent as the water and soil nobody would normally think could easily cause them any harm on any given day.
The ntm infection, although not the worst medical emergency to face the U.S. population, is still a matter to be taken seriously. Aside from the high statistics mentioned, the fact that it continues to grow and develop over the wide range of species that can cause both chronic and respiratory fatigue for individuals of all age groups is an alarming matter to contemplate even with something as helpful as treatment. The American lung association has commented on this developing matter and how even an individual living with an ntm infection can suffer greatly during and even following the process. Despite treatment being the only combat method against nontuberculous mycobacteria, the possibility of reinfection still exists, and given that this bacteria can create a slow but painfully developing form of disease alone illustrates just how serious this matter is and how it can essentially grow into an epidemic rivaling that of Ebola, polio, or even Zika.