TUBERCULOSIS


Tuberculosis, is an infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis primarily affects the lung (80%) but can also affect other parts of the body like gastro intestinal tract, lymph nodes, genito-urinary tract, coverings of the brain (called meninges) , heart (pericardium), linings of the lungs (pleura), brain, bones, joints, skin, eyes and other organs.Only hair and nails are not affected by TB. Tuberculosis germ spreads through the air that we breathe.

Lung tissue affecting tuberculosis is called Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Pulmonary TB can be of two types based on whether the patient produces the germs in his sputum or not. Patients having germs in the sputum are called Sputum positive Pulmonary TB. A single infected untreated person can spread the disease to 10-15 individuals in his community.

 

SYMPTOMS

  • Cough for 3 weeks or more
  • Evening rise of temperature
  • Loss of appetite, loss of weight
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty with breathing

TREATMENT

TUBERCULOSIS can be treated by taking a combination of antibiotics for a period of 6 to 8 months. The treatment has to be taken regularly for the prescribed duration. A kerchief or a bit of cloth or tissue should be used while coughing and sputum should not be spit everywhere. Instead the sputum should be collected in a container and buried or burnt.

Vaccination against Tuberculosis
BCG vaccination has to be taken under the Universal Immunization Program. BCG vaccination protects against developing the severe forms of TB in childhoods but does not protect adults from developing the adult forms of pulmonary TB.