Respiratory System by Kristi Lew

By Kristi Lew

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Because oxygen deprivation to the heart and brain can cause death, severe asthma attacks should be treated as a medical emergency and victims should be taken to the closest hospital emergency room. 45 R E S PIRATORY SYST EM Doctors are not exactly sure what causes some people to develop asthma while others do not. However, they do know that the condition often runs in families. Children related to someone with asthma are more likely to develop the disease than a child with no family history of asthma.

Symptoms of active TB disease include chest pain and a long-lasting cough that is often accompanied by bloody phlegm. Not everyone who 38 Breath less inhales the bacteria that causes TB develops an active case of the disease, however. In most people, their immune system detects and destroys the TB bacteria before it starts growing. However, the bacteria may still be alive in these people’s bodies. This is called a latent TB infection. Latent means that the bacteria are present in the body, but the patient has no symptoms.

Because their symptoms have disappeared, some patients believe that it is safe to stop taking the antibiotics prescribed to control their disease. But it is not. When a patient stops taking antibiotics too early, not all of the bacteria are killed. This can cause the patient to relapse (all of their symptoms come back) and it can leave behind drug-resistant bacteria that can be much harder to treat. S A R S Like the common cold and the flu, TB has been around for a very long time. But sometimes new strains of bacteria or viruses that have never been seen before in humans can develop.

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