Tuberculosis- An Age Old Disease Still Prevalent Today

World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on March 24th and the theme of 2107 is “ unite to end TB: leave no one behind ”. It is an airborne infection that can affect any caste, age or class. Though it is an age old infection due to several factors it is still prevalent in developing nations.

Developed countries have eradicated TB more than half a century ago, therefore there has been nothing new in relevant research or medicines. The diseases has now become resistant to drugs. The people of developing countries are bearing the brunt of this disease. Tuberculosis is an old contagious malady that was known as phthisis. Every year it almost kills 1.5 million people and is one of the biggest infectious killer.  

The existing drugs have no power to combat it. The need of the hour is new kind of medicines that will work effectively. New drugs are being developed for the first time in 50 years. The illness is extremely powerful that a combination of drugs are required to defeat it. This can be defeated if the governments, pharmaceutical firms, donors, and research organizations can work together to find new drugs that are easy to access, tolerable and simple in order to be rapidly implemented in those countries where it is prevalent.

It is a disease that is transmitted through air easily when the infected person speaks coughs or laughs. This is a preventable as well as a curable malady. There is a lack of public awareness too regarding the condition.

How to prevent contracting TB?

• Avoid exposing yourself to those who suffer from the disease already

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•  Some people are more at risk compared to others so they such people should be more vigilant

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• Adopt a healthy lifestyle to have a strong immune system

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• If you are traveling to a country where the disease is prevalent then get the BCG vaccination done to prevent it catching you.  

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Symptoms

If you have a cough that is persistent for more than two weeks then it can be TB. Apart from that weight loss, fatigue, appetite loss, chills, low fever and night sweats are all symptoms of it.

Diagnosis of the disease

It is crucial and difficult as there are several challenges in diagnosis and treatment of TB.

• Schedule a TB test if you have been exposed to someone with that sickness

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• Go for a Skin and Blood test

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• Consult doctor if you have been tested positive
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Most government centers provide good care as they have improved training, medicines and new diagnostic tools to treat the disease. Medicines are free of cost coupled with follow-ups and counseling.   

If you are infected with the disease ensure you avoid close contact with other infected people and wash your hands often with hand sanitizer. 

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