Friday, 23 March 2018

Tuberculosis - Wanted: Leaders For a TB Free World


What is Tuberculosis (TB) and what is being done to prevent the spread of this disease?

Though there are various other members of M. tuberculosis, the principal reason of Tuberculosis (TB) in a human being is the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. WHO considers TB to be a worldwide pandemic and presence of TB victims are mostly located in African and Asian countries. The potential of damage that can be caused by TB to a human being have well been understood now and WHO has declared TB as a global emergency. Various steps are being taken to eradicate TB from the face of the earth and awareness programme about Tuberculosis (TB) is being conducted so that people may take care of themselves in a qualified way.

Kinds of Tuberculosis (TB): Normally two kinds of TB infections are identified by the Doctors. These are as follows:

1.    The latent Tuberculosis (TB): In this type of TB, the TB bacteria remain inside the body in a latent state and there are no apparent symptoms of the presence of such disease. Also, this type of TB is not contagious, though it may get active in future.

 2.    The active Tuberculosis (TB): There are definite symptoms available with such type of bacteria and this active Tuberculosis (TB) is highly contagious.

It has been estimated that around 33% of the world population is having latent TB and there is 10% chance of latent TB getting active and getting spread. Though, the chance of getting affected with TB is there for all age groups. However, people who are living in the developing countries and the young generation are more prone to get affected by such disease.

What are the symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB): The symptoms of Tuberculosis are very much variable. The symptoms of TB will vary depending on the part of the body where it has been affected. Generally, when somebody is affected with active TB, it gives a chronic feeling of weakness and tiredness. There are chances of losing weight very fast, along with lack of appetite, fever, and chill. There are different symptoms of TB depending on the area like the Pulmonary TB which is TB in lungs and here blood coming in a cough is a common incidence. Lymph node TB is very common in children and it leads to inflammation of the lymph node in the neck area. Further, the skeletal TB is accompanied by the bone pain and loss of movement and weakening of the bone. There are also other varieties of TB like the gastrointestinal TB, TB meningitis, Kidney TB, etc.

Diagnosis for TB: A Doctor normally uses a stethoscope and checks the lungs or the swelling of the lymph nodes for checking the TB. The other symptoms and medical history are also critically checked. A normal form of diagnostic test is to push a small injection for skin test below the inside of the forearm. The PPD tuberculin bacterium is injected and the site of the injection is further checked after a couple of days. If there is a red and hard bump noticed, there is a chance of TB in the patient. The skin test is not fully accurate. There are other tests like the blood tests, sputum tests, chest X-rays, etc which are also carried out to identify the presence of TB.
Treatment and prevention of TB: TB disease is not incurable if treated properly and if the right medication is administered. The MDR-TB often requires multiple drugs to get cured. The TB antibiotics are normally required to be taken for a long time. Normally, it is advisable to isolate the patient affected with the TB in order to prevent the spread of such disease. BCG vaccination is used in many countries which are administered to the children to vaccinate them against the attack of Tuberculosis (TB).

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