Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. TB is one of the leading causes of mortality in India. It kills more than 4,00,000 people in India every year. But these deaths can be prevented. With proper care and treatment, TB patients can be cured and the battle against TB can be won.
TB is spread through the air by a person suffering from TB. A single patient can infect 10 or more people in a year.
Common symptoms of TB are:
Those most vulnerable to falling ill with TB include very poor and/or malnourished/ undernourished people, people living with HIV/AIDS, children and women, contacts of people with TB including health workers, migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons, miners and mining-affected persons, persons with diabetes, elderly, ethnic minorities, indigenous populations, substance users and homeless persons.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV, the virus that causes AIDS) is the strongest risk factor for tuberculosis among adults. Tuberculosis is one of the earliest opportunistic diseases to develop amongst persons infected with HIV. HIV debilitates the immune system increasing the vulnerability to TB and increasing the risk of progression from TB infection to TB disease. An HIV positive person is six times (50-60% life time risk) more likely of developing TB disease once infected with TB bacilli, as compared to an HIV negative person, who has a 10% life-time risk.
Children account for an estimated 11 % of all TB cases in the world. TB in children is often missed or overlooked due to non-specific symptoms and limitation of diagnostic tools. Children at greater risk for Tuberculosis. Some groups of children are at greater risk for tuberculosis than others. These include:
Under Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) the following methods are used to diagnose various forms of Tuberculosis:
Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) is the strategy followed for treatment of TB. Tuberculosis treatment requires at least 6 months of treatment.
Vaccination - The TB vaccine, BCG, addresses the tuberculosis problem in children to some extent.
TB treatment with DOTS reduces the morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV.
Gaps in TB treatment
“Missed” is the gap between the estimated number of people who became ill with TB in a year and the number of people who were notified to national TB programmes. In 2018, in India 2.69 million people fell ill with TB and about 0.449 million people died. Only 1.99 million people with TB were notified. Every year 7 lakh people with TB are missing out on quality care. The vast majority of people dying of TB are missed.
Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) refers to disease outside the lungs.
Extra-pulmonary TB may be characterized by swelling of the particular site infected (lymph node), mobility impairment (spine), or severe headache and neurological dysfunction (TB meningitis) etc. Extra-pulmonary TB is not accompanied by a cough because it does not occur in the lungs.
Development of the disease
The commonest sites of infection are:
Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) is caused by strains of the tuberculosis bacteria resistant to the two most effective anti-tuberculosis drugs available - isoniazid and rifampicin. MDR TB can only be diagnosed in a specialized laboratory.
Worldwide 4,84, 000 people were estimated to have fallen ill with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in 2018. In India about 1,3,000 people fell ill with drug-resistant TB.
Multi-drug-resistant Tuberculosis requires at least 18-24 months of treatment with medicines which are 100 times more expensive and often highly toxic.
What is the cause of tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is not a hereditary disease. It is an infectious disease. Any person can get afflicted with TB. Whenever, a patient having active tuberculosis coughs or sneezes in an open manner, bacteria causing TB come out in the aerosol. This aerosol can infect any person who happens to inhale it.
What are the symptoms of this disease?
Characteristic symptoms of TB are persistent cough of more than three weeks duration, cough with expectoration of sputum, fever, weight loss or loss of appetite etc. If any of these symptoms persist beyond three weeks, the person concerned should visit the nearest DOTS TB Center or Health Center and get his sputum examined
What are the investigations done for diagnosing TB and where are they available?
It is essential to get sputum examined on three consecutive days for TB bacteria in order to diagnose TB. DOTS centers have been established at various places. The services provided at these centers are absolutely free.
Sputum for examination should be given after coughing properly. It is important not to give saliva in place of sputum. If saliva is submitted for examination, the disease may not be diagnosed.
What is the treatment of TB?
If a full course of anti-tubercular drugs is taken on a regular basis, this disease is fully curable. A TB patient has to take medicines for a minimum period of six months continuously. The drugs may continue up to on year in some cases. It is important that the drugs are discontinued only on the advice of the doctor. Patients who do not take a complete treatment or take drugs on an irregular basis, their disease turns incurable or even life-threatening.
Is the disease of TB curable?
Yes, this disease is fully curable if the treatment is taken on a regular and continuous basis for adequate duration.
How can we prevent tuberculosis?
The disease of TB spreads whenever, patients cough or sneeze without covering their faces or spit here and there. Hence, patients should always cover their faces while coughing or sneezing. One should not spit here and there and always use spittoon for coughing.
At home also, patients should spit in a box which is covered by a lid. Before disposing off the sputum, it should be boiled.
It is very important not to get scared or to hide the disease whenever someone develops the symptoms of TB. It is necessary that the person concerned may get himself/ herself examined and take adequate period.
What is the diet to be given to a TB patient?
As per one's liking, TB patient can eat any type of food. There are no special diets necessary for a TB patient. One should avoid any foodstuff which causes any problem in that particular individual.
What are the things to be avoided by a TB patient?
A patient of TB should avoid consumption of bidi, cigarette, hookah, tobacco, alcohol or any other intoxicating drug.
What is DOTS?
DOTS stands for directly observed treatment short course, the curative treatment for tuberculosis. It is the name for a comprehensive strategy which primary health services around the world are using to detect and cure TB patients. It combines five elements:
What are the advantages of DOTS
How TB & HIV are related?
Anyone can become infected with TB, but people with HIV and TB infection are at greater risk of getting sick with TB disease. Even if a person has only TB infection, the bacteria remains in his / her body and is still a threat to the patient. As the immune system is weakend by HIV, the bacteria can start growing and multiplying. It then becomes TB disease.
Source : Tuberculosis India
World TB Day is held each year on March 24th and aims to build public awareness for tuberculosis. A disease which despite being curable, remains a destructive epidemic in much of the world. On this day, we commemorate Dr Robert Koch’s announcement in 1882 of his discovery of the TB bacillus, the cause of tuberculosis. His groundbreaking research opened the way toward diagnosing and curing this disease.
World TB Day is an opportunity for people everywhere to join this fight by helping to educate others about TB and by urging governments to take action.
Source : World TB Day 2021
Last Modified : 3/31/2021
This topic provides about *99# Service- Innovative...
This topic provides information related to steps t...
This topic provides information about Zero tillage...
Acne causes, symptoms and remedies are described h...