Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.
Although your body may harbor the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), your immune system usually can prevent you from becoming sick. For this reason, doctors make a distinction between:
Latent TB. In this condition, you have a TB infection, but the bacteria remain in your body in an inactive state and cause no symptoms. Latent TB, also called inactive TB or TB infection, isn’t contagious. It can turn into active TB, so treatment is important for the person with latent TB and to help control the spread of TB.
Active TB. This condition makes you sick and in most cases can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later.
Signs and symptoms of active TB include:
Coughing that lasts three or more weeks.
Coughing up blood.
Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing.
Unintentional weight loss.
Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of your body, including your kidneys, spine or brain. When TB occurs outside your lungs, signs, and symptoms vary according to the organs involved. For example, tuberculosis of the spine may give you back pain, and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.
Weakened immune system
A healthy immune system often successfully fights TB bacteria. However, a number of diseases, conditions and medications can weaken your immune system, including:
Severe kidney disease.
Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy
Drugs to prevent rejection of transplanted organs
Very young or advanced age
Preventing the Spread of TB
If you have active TB of the lungs, you can infect other people. For that reason, your doctor will tell you to stay home during the first few weeks of treatment, until you’re no longer contagious. During that time, you should avoid public places and people with weakened immune systems, like young children, the elderly, and people with HIV. You’ll have to wear a special mask if you have visitors or need to go to the doctor’s office.
If you have active TB, keep your germs to yourself. Follow these tips to help keep your friends and family from getting sick till you become infection-free
Stay at home.
Ventilate the room.
Cover your mouth while coughing sneezing.
Wear a surgical mask.
Finish your medicines
This is the most important step you can take to protect yourself and others from tuberculosis. When you stop treatment early or skip doses, TB bacteria have a chance to develop mutations that allow them to survive the most potent TB drugs. The resulting drug-resistant strains are much more deadly and difficult to treat.
Infants often are vaccinated with bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine because it can prevent severe tuberculosis in children.
Myths and Facts for Tuberculosis
1. Myth: Tuberculosis happens only to smokers.
Smokers are predisposed to developing respiratory diseases. However, TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. So smoking increases the risk for developing tuberculosis.
2. Myth: TB is a poor man’s disease.
In reality, tuberculosis has broken all barriers and can affect anyone irrespective of their socio- financial background and living conditions.
3. Myth: It can be fatal.
If a patient follows the complete treatment module, then the disease is fully curable.
4. Myth: Tuberculosis is hereditary.
Tuberculosis is NOT hereditary. TB is an airborne disease that is spread when a person with active TB coughs, laughs, sneezes or sings, breathing out tiny infected particles into the air. The particles may then be inhaled by others nearby.
1. World Tuberculosis day marks the fact that every patient of TB is with support from people around the world and they aren’t alone.
#TuberculosisIsCurable #TreatOntime #Delayedtreatment #deniedtreatment #March24 #WorldTuberculosisday #DevaMCKigali
2. Every breathe of yours is worth a million dollar smile of your loved ones. Keep TB away and live healthy