If you thought tuberculosis was ‘a thing of the past’, think again! As per the global standards, it is the second biggest killer caused by a single infectious agent. 1.8 million people die worldwide from tuberculosis while 10.4 million people fall sick affected by the disease. Although we have come a long way since the mid -1980s when TB was termed a Global Emergency by the WHO, still there are millions of people getting affected by the disease each year.
Facts on tuberculosis
Here are 5 facts on tuberculosis by World Health Organization
- 10 million cases of tuberculosis were reported worldwide in 2017 that included 5.8 million men, 3.2 million women, and 1 million children.
- TB in kids is difficult to diagnose and treat.
- The good news is that per year, TB is falling at a 2% rate globally.
- In 2017, India was the leading among the 30 high TB-burden countries.
- The TB causing bacteria can stay dormant in a person’s body for many years, hence it is not often realized that a person might be having TB. The other person staying with the infected can also get affected.
Symptoms of tuberculosis
You may necessarily not have any symptoms when having TB. The germs that cause TB can remain dormant in your body for years without making you feel sick. In clinical terms, this is called latent TB. But it also doesn’t mean that these germs will remain dormant throughout the lifetime. They may get active and begin to multiply making you sick and in need of medical assistance.
It is important that you recognize the symptoms of TB in its earlier stages before it affects the other parts of the body and gets difficult to treat. Here are some early warning signs that you must not ignore:
- Night chills and sweats and fever
- Feeling weak and sick
- Weight loss and decreased appetite
- Chest pain
- A severe cough persistent for more than 3 weeks
Treatment of TB
If diagnosed at the right stage and treated properly, TB is curable. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics for a course of 6-9 months and you must finish the course of the treatment to completely eradicate TB. But sometimes, your TB is resistant to the normal drugs prescribed and needs a combination of stronger antibiotics for treatment.
Prevention of TB
Now that we have mentioned the symptoms that act as a red flag for medical assistance and also the treatment of TB, you should also know how to avoid contracting TB in the first place. Prevent the near ones from contracting TB as long as you are getting treated with these 7 simple tips:
- Visit your doctor at regular 9intervals and take all the medicines as prescribed
- Whenever coughing or sneezing, always cover your mouth with a tissue. Dispose of them later.
- Wash your hands after sneezing and coughing
- Don’t visit others till you are running the course of treatment
- Avoid public places as much as possible
- Keep windows open during the day for fresh air to circulate
- Administer BCG vaccination in your kids
If you are HIV positive or have serious health issues like diabetes, cancer or kidney disease, you must take extra care to keep healthy. Also, try and improve your immunity by a proper diet and multivitamins if required.
Combat the germs of the disease before it attacks you.