Do you know these facts about TB?

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World TB Day – 24 March

In India, every 2 minutes, 2 people are infected by the disease; it is a dangerous disease and can lead to major health complications and death. The worst part is infected people fail to get adequate care and treatment. Therefore, this year, WHO stands united towards sound ethical standards to provide rights to the affected. On 24th of March, every year, world TB day is held to spread awareness about the disease. The earlier the disease is detected, the more the chances of recovery. Therefore, stay aware and stay safe.

Here are 10 important facts you shouldn’t miss

1. People with TB don’t always feel sick

One with TB infections in their lungs coughs, spits or sneezes and through this can spread the disease to others. However, as the initial symptoms of TB are very mild, people might often not realize the gravity and tend to ignore it. This is why to spread awareness, Government showcases repeated advertisements showing how 2-3 weeks of continuous cough should be addressed by a doctor. People who use tobacco and smokes should be even more cautious about the disease.

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2. TB originated in cattle

TB originally was detected in farm animals. It was with time that the tuberculosis bacteria started to evolve and started infecting people also.

3. TB is not a poor country disease

According to WHO, 9 million people are infected by the disease every year, out of which, 1.5 to 3 million people die each year globally. Generally, there is a stigma around the diease that it infects more people in developing and underdeveloped countries which is not true. Research states that developed countries like America too witness cases of TB followed by death.

4. Antibiotics might make TB difficult to beat

TB is usually curable but inappropriate antibiotics or medicines might make it difficult to cure. It is treated with four antimicrobial medicines over 6 months. However, if one doesn’t follow this regime strictly, the disease might become worse. It has the potential to develop drug resistance also. Therefore, WHO constantly drives campaign around early TB detection and aims at providing adequate drugs and treatment.

5. TB death is romanticised

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Due to famous personalities being infected by the disease and death, TB was highly romanticised during the 19th & 20th century. Writers like Emily Bronte, John Keats, Franz Kafka and more famous victims contributed to the romanticising of the disease.

6. TB doesn’t effect only lungs

There is a misconception around this disease that it affects only the lungs. However, it can also occur in bones, the urinary tract and even in the brain.

7. Prevention is the key

People with weaker immune system, using tobacco regularly and smoking are at a higher risk of being infected by this disease. Poor diet and lack of sleep also makes its contribution here. Therefore, it is highly recommended to follow healthy living and diet and avoid smoking and tobacco as much possible.

8. Fresh air can help

The microbes in tuberculosis evolve in cold and damp places and therefore, it is ideal to avoid such places and encourage more fresh air and sunlight.

9. Causes infertility in women

At times, the infection in lungs spread to other parts of the body including the genital tract. It can infect the uterus and fallopian tubes, thus leading to infertility.

10. Babies can suffer from TB

It is not always an adult disease or the disease of smokers and tobacco chewers, even babies can suffer from the disease Children who are malnourished and have weaker immune systems might be infected by it. There is a vaccine (BCG) given soon after babies’ birth to increase immunity.

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It is a very complex disease and the only thing that can make the treatment faster and slightly easier is early detection. Any discomfort with the lungs, prolonged cough or cold should be addressed by the doctor immediately. Besides, always remember, we can beat TB.

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