On March 24, 1882. Dr. Robert Koch discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it’s the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. March 24th, 1982 was designated as World TB Day especially to educate the public about the impact of tuberculosis around the world.
The theme of World TB day 2018 is “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world”- the main motto behind the theme is to focus on building commitment to end TB. All can be leaders of efforts to end TB in their own work.
Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease that affects the lungs. It is contagious and transfers from one person to another through tiny microscopic droplets which are released into the air. This happens when the infected person is untreated and they cough, speak, sneeze, spit, laugh or sing. People with a low immune system are likely to get infected.The World Health Organization estimates that 9 million people a year get infected with TB.
There are two types of tuberculosis
Latent TB: In this case, the bacteria remain in the body but in an inactive state, no symptoms can be seen and it’s not contagious. Latent TB can turn into active TB, hence proper treatment has to be taken which can help to control the spread of TB.
Active TB: In this case, the disease easily spreads to others. There are possibilities that it can occur in the first few weeks, right after the person is infected or it might occur years later.
- Pain in the chest
- Sweating at night
- A cough that lasts three weeks or longer
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Coughing blood
- Weight loss
Tuberculosis bacteria not only infects the lungs but can travel other parts of the body such as kidney, bones, testicles, uterus, bone marrow, spine, and heart.
Early diagnosis and getting proper treatment helps to prevent the spread of tuberculosis and can be cured. A person who is infected can spread the diseases to up to 10-15 other people per year. There are ways to prevent from spreading infection.
- Anyone who coughs should be educated on cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene.
- Houses should have proper ventilation
- Should maintain proper hygiene by covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing reduces the spread of TB bacteria.
- Avoid going out in public
- Beds and rooms should not be shared
Proper and timely vaccinations can protect against tuberculosis. The BCG vaccine is the only vaccine which is given to children, adults and elderly people. The important step to protect TB is continuing getting early treatment and not skipping doses.
On world TB day let us all unite to end this disease by spreading awareness to completely STOP and END TUBERCULOSIS
Are you suffering from a cough? Do you have any questions related to your health? Consult with a specialist on the nULTA app now.