24th March – Tuberculosis Day.
Around 60/70 years ago, Tuberculosis was known as a deadly Bacterial Infection Disease, specially in non developed or under developed countries of our world. Tuberculosis is a curable disease now a days. In this article we will discuss causes, symptoms and treatment of the disease.
- What is Tuberculosis
- Consult your Doctor
What is Tuberculosis ?
Tuberculosis ( T.B.) is a deadly infectious disease which infect our lungs. If our Immune System is strong, it will resist the infection. If not treated on time, it will spread in human body and can effect our Kidney , Joints, Liver and Heart disorder.
When a person effected with Tuberculosis bacteria coughs, speaks, sneezes, laughs, spits or even sigs, tiny droplets are released and spread in the surrounding air. If any person breath in that area, he/she will swallow those infected droplets and have the chances to be effected. New research says that a person having a strong Immune System will not be effected easily, unless he/she lives , works with someone , already effected with T.B. bacteria.
There are some causes of spreading T.B. . These are :
1 – HIV and T.B.
AIDS was spreaded in the world some time in 1980. HIV virus that cause AIDS, attacks on our Immune System and destroy it, making it difficult to fight against any infection. That’s why people with HIV get infected with T.B. easily.
2 – Drug Resistant T.B.
Every body know that mosquitos are the cause of Malaria fever. To kill the mosquitos , DDT was sprayed on the places where water use to accumulate , because mosquito usually born in such places . Now a days such spray is not effective , because mosquito have developed drug resistant ability. Around six decade age, the medication for T.B. were effective to control T.B. but now some T.B. germs have gained the ability to survive despite of medication. This ability is transferred to new born T.B. germs. New medication is required to control the spread of T.B.
3 – .Weakened Immune System:
A strong/healthy Immune System can fight against T.B. bacteria easily. If our resistance is low , it is hard to fight against any infection. Some diseases, conditions and medications can make our Immune System weak. These are :
- Sever Kidney disease.
- Certain Cancer, Cancer chemotherapy .
- Drugs to prevent rejection of transplanted organs.
- Very young or advanced age.
4 – Poverty:
There are some areas in our world where people have very low income, or live in a very remote areas. Health Care facilities are usually not available. Standard of living is very low. People in such areas get infected with T.B. easily .
Use of IV drugs or excessive alcohol can weak the Immune System.
Use of tobacco greatly increase the risk of getting T.B.
Regular contact with T.B. effected people is a great risk .
Living in over crowded places is also a risk of getting Tuberculosis.
As said earlier, our Immune System fights against any infection and we may not get T.B. For his reason, doctors describe a distinction between two types of TB :
Latent TB ; In this condition, one have a TB infection , but the bacteria remain inactive condition. No symptoms appear. But it can turn in an active Tuberculosis. So treatment is necessary.
Active TB: This means that one is really sick and can spread the TB bacteria . it can occur in the first week of infection with the TB bacteria or it might occur years later.
Symptoms and sign of active TB ;
- Cough for 3 to 4 weeks , with or without blood.
- Chest pain, while breathing or coughing.
- Weight Loss.
- Night sweats.
- Loss of appetite.
Untreated TB infection will damage our lungs. It will also effect on other body organs . These are:
- Spinal pain and stiffness.
- Joint damage like hips and knee joints.
- Liver or Kidney problems.
- Heart disorders.
Consult your doctor:
It is better to play safe game. In case you feel any or more of above symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Do not wait. Sooner the be3tter to consult your doctor. Take the medication regularly. The treatment is usually 6 months long. Take the medicines as your doctor prescribe. Your doctor can advise you for some tests. Such tests will help your doctor to carry on correct treatment.
If you have active TB, try to keep your germs to yourself . There are some precautionary steps to take:
- Stay home .
- Ventilate your room.
- cover your mouth.
- Wear a mask.
- Get your new born children vaccinated with bacillus Calmette- Guerin (BCG) vaccine. It can prevent sever TB in children.
source: Mayo Clinic – Diagnosis and Treatment of Tuberculosis