Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. India is the country with the highest number of Tuberculosis cases. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), TB statistics for India for 2015 give an estimated figure of 2.2 million cases of TB for India out of a global incidence of 9.6 million. It is estimated that about 40% of the Indian population is infected with TB bacteria, the vast majority of whom have latent TB rather than active TB.
In spite of the medical advancements and breakthrough, an epidemic of tuberculosis is more menacing than ever before.
Tuberculosis is an airborne potentially infectious disease that usually caused by the bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). It mostly affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body such as kidneys, spine or brain.
How is TB transmitted?
TB is the most contagious disease that spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.
What are the types of Tuberculosis?
Latent tuberculosis and Active Tuberculosis are the two main types of TB.
Latent Tuberculosis- In latent tuberculosis bacteria remains in a dormant state or an inactive state in the body and does not cause any symptoms. People with latent tuberculosis do not feel sick and can not spread disease from person to person.
Active Tuberculosis- In active tuberculosis bacteria rapidly multiplies itself and spreads throughout the body.It potentially affects the organ of the body and causes symptoms within a week. Active tuberculosis bacteria is at high risk of spreading the disease to others.
What are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis?
Symptoms depend on which area of the body has been infected. Some of the common symptoms are-
A cough that lasts more than 3 weeks.
Loss of appetite
Coughing up blood
Who is most at risk?
The disease affects mainly adults but all ages group are at risk. People with weakened immune system have a much greater risk of falling ill.
How to diagnose Tuberculosis?
There are many ways that may be used for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Some of the major tests are-
Simple Skin test.
Imaging Tests(chest X-ray or a CT Scan)
Sputum tests(mucus test)
How to prevent tuberculosis?
Getting a Bacille Calmette- Guerin (BCG) vaccination can help prevent TB.
Medications are the keystone of tuberculosis treatment. But treating TB takes much longer than treating other types of bacterial infections. With tuberculosis, you must take antibiotics for at least six to nine months. The exact drugs and length of treatment depend on your age, overall health, possible drug resistance, the form of TB (latent or active) and the infection's location in the body.
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