Tuberculosis occurs all over the world but there is great difference in prevalence between the developed world and the rest of the world. This could be attributed to early diagnosis and treatment, better nutrition, better housing and preventive measures.
At a point it was almost nonexistent in the developed world but those countries relaxed and the disease has re-surfaced with a vengeance.
India is said to account for about a fifth of new infections of tuberculosis globally, the reasons for this are obvious.
1. What Causes Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is caused by a germ called mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is found all over the world and has survived so because it has the ability to develop resistance to drugs if treatment is not strictly followed by those who have the disease. The disease is curable.
2. How Does Tuberculosis Spread?
TB spreads from person to person through the spit of an infected person that has dried up. When dried up, it with the germs it contains can be blown by wind and any one can breathe it in. Very rarely it can spread by direct contact with the saliva or cough of a person with the disease. Very rarely too, it can spread from animal to person through unsterilized milk
3. When Do You Suspect You May Have Tuberculosis?
See a doctor when you have cough that refuses to go, you experience night sweats (but this is so common because most of the time there is no light) and you experience unexplained weight loss.
4. What Can Put You at Risk?
Tuberculosis is found more among the poor, the uneducated and those living in poorly ventilated crowded homes. It affects all ages but prevalence tends to increase with age. Some chronic diseases such as diabetes, HIV and cancer increase the risk of TB.
5. Possible Complications of Tuberculosis.
Untreated or poorly treated tuberculosis leads to death from inability to breath as the lungs would have been destroyed.
Tuberculosis can be prevented in the following ways:
a. Vaccination against TB at birth
b. Proper nutrition
c. Well ventilated housing
d. TB drugs given to babies born of mothers with TB, to adults with close contact to those with active TB and to people with chronic diseases that are likely to increase their risk of contracting TB.