Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is estimated that there are about 2 billion carriers in the world. It usually attacks the lungs, but also other parts of the body, especially the bone system and the brain.
A distinction must be made between infection and disease. People who are just infected do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. Infection can last a lifetime without causing disease. We can get TB at any age. It is transmitted quickly, especially among disadvantaged people, with limited access to a doctor and poor nutrition.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION:
TB is transmitted through the air we breathe. When a sick person coughs or sneezes, germs spread through the air. Pollution occurs when we inhale microbes present in the air. In some cases, the disease can be transmitted by cattle, for example, through the consumption of unpasteurized milk of an infected animal. The incubation period is 4-12 weeks, but the infection can persist for months or years before the disease occurs. The patient is contagious for several weeks after starting treatment.
Children under 3 years of age and the elderly are most at risk, although this may affect everyone. People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV / AIDS, are much more likely to develop the disease. Recently, the fear of tuberculosis is growing, because the microorganism has developed drug resistance.
Tuberculosis is manifested by general weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis include:
- persistent cough;
- bloody sputum;
- chest pain.
Patients with tuberculosis should receive treatment, which usually includes two or more anti-tuberculosis drugs, for at least six months. Unfortunately, some patients do not follow the schedule and duration of treatment. This is how multidrug-resistant tuberculosis appears, transmitted to other people. The best way to protect children from tuberculosis is to vaccinate them with BCG.