Mode of transmission of tuberculosis

According to Revised Workers’ Manual of NTBLCP (1998) the source of infectious is a person with tuberculosis of the lungs who is coughing, transmission occurs by airborne spread of infections droplets. Coughing, singing or sneezing produces tiny droplet (droplet nuclei) one cough may produce 3,000 droplet nuclei.

He stressed that transmission generally occurs indoors, ventilation remove droplet nuclei direct sunlight quickly kills tuberculosis bacilli, but they can survive in dark areas for several hour. The workers’ manual stressed further that ‘’transmission of tuberculosis depends on;

  • The concentration of droplets nuclei in contaminated air.
  • The extent of exposure of the droplets nuclei.
  • The susceptibility of the individual to infection.

According to Donald (2000), patient with sputum on direct smear (i.e. Tuberculosis visible under microscopy are much more infectious because they are producing far more tuberculosis bacilli than those only positive on culture.

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