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World Tuberculosis Day 2023: Things you need to know about the deadly disease

World Tuberculosis Day: Things you need to be aware of, to Prevent and Cure the deadly disease!

TB is a highly infected and deadly disease. Well, World Tuberculosis Day is observed on March 24 every year to spread maximum awareness about the disease. Awareness includes its causes, prevention etc. This date is observed as TB day due to the discovery of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium due to which TB is caused, by German microbiologist Dr Robert Koch in 1882, when the disease had much of Europe and America under its grip. Here are a few things you need to know about the deadly disease tuberculosis.

Yes, earlier TB was limited to only western countries, not to India but slowly and steadily it has become part of our country too. In 1982, at the hundredth anniversary of the discovery, the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) suggested that the day would be observed as World Tuberculosis Day.

Representative Image

Notably, Tuberculosis remains as one of the largest on India’s health and Wellness scale.  According to a report, in 2011, 2.2 million cases of Tuberculosis were reported in India.  

Here, are few things you should know about TB:

1. HIV patients are at risk of TB: If we believe the experts, the probability of the disease is higher in HIV patients, as their immune system is weaker than others. Most HIV deaths occur due to TB. Weaker the immune system more the chances of getting infected with the disease.

2. It is an air pollution-borne disease: More polluted the city you live in, it increases the chances of getting infected with the disease. City pollution is one of the major causes of tuberculosis. Stray dust on roads as well as fine dirt particles from construction sites can enter your lungs and increase the chances of tuberculosis. Delhi always remains on red alert, so it’s better to cover your mouth.

3. It can be spread by air: It’s really common. It can spread through the air. Tuberculosis can spread by being in the air as the disease is an infectious one whose bacteria travel through air droplets, by way of coughing or sneezing by an infected person. It is a communicable disease. Therefore, a person who is infected should always avoid crowded, closed spaces and shift to an open environment immediately.

Prevention is better than cure

4. You might be infected with TB but not aware of it: It’s hard to find the symptoms of TB. Mostly we ignore coughing as a normal virus. According to statistics, about 2.3 billion people in the world have TB, but many may never know that they have it. Due to a condition called latent tuberculosis, the person infected might never experience severe symptoms or be hazardous to others, but the germs will simply stay in the body.

5. It can affect more than your lungs: TB not only attacks your lungs, it affects other body parts too. Usually, TB attacks the lungs but other organs such as the brain or the kidneys can fall prey to the disease too.

6. Coughing and cold sweat can be prominent symptoms: Yes, these two are prominent symptoms. Symptoms include coughing that lasts for more than two or three weeks, at times with blood, chest pain, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, weakness, fever at night, sweating in cool weather, shortness of breath, whistle-like sound while breathing, etc.

 7. There are two types of TB conditions: Latent TB infection and TB disease.  Latent TB infection cannot spread and people with Latent TB infection do not feel sick and don’t have any other symptoms.

8. Drastic weight loss: One can witness drastic weight loss. Also, there is a loss of appetite.

After the diagnosis, one should not skip his or her medicines.  If you miss your medicine, the disease can come back and TB bacteria can become resistant to drugs.  Tuberculosis is a curable disease all you need to do is – “Take your medicines on a regular basis.”

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Ayushi Mittal

In her journey to become a journalist, Ayushi can inculcate your tale through her news writings. You may find her with a mike in protests, rallies, or in museums. So what's your story?
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