Tuberculosis: An Illness that Still Causes Havoc around the World

Get to Know Its Causes, Effects, Treatment, and Prevention

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by a bacterium called Bacillus De Koch, which is passed through the droplets expelled by the cough of sick people from their infected lungs. Since this disease is spread through the air, tuberculosis most often affects the lungs, and in more extreme cases it can affect other organs.

Tuberculosis generally affects lungs but, in more serious cases, it might be extended to other vital organs

It should be noted that in the case of the affected person, they must have a very strict hygiene and care, because the infection can be spread by coughing, sneezing or spitting the tuberculous bacilli onto the air, with the fact that by this means a healthy person can inhale these particles an get infected easily with this disease.

According to studies, it is estimated that one-third of the world population has latent tuberculosis, that is to say, these people are infected by the bacilli or bacteria that produce this disease but they have not yet become ill or show symptoms of infection.

What are the symptoms to discover that someone has tuberculosis?

The active way to discover that our body was affected or is being affected by this infection is by a strong cough, fever, night sweats, and weight loss that are most common in the contagion of the disease. These symptoms can be very mild during a long period of time. For this reason, people take so long to seek help with specialists thinking that it is a simple flu and really do not know that they are suffering from tuberculosis and infecting others around them. Take into account that a tuberculosis patient can infect more than 10 people if they do not receive adequate treatment. And if no adequate treatment is received on time, up to 2/3 of the people affected can die from this disease.

According to studies, it has been determined that since the year 2000, 50% of patients with this deadly infection have been saved by a good diagnosis and an effective treatment. Remember that within this treatment it is very influential to carry out an impeccable health and sanitation procedure.

How is tuberculosis treated? 

The treatment is a combination of several special antibiotics for the elimination of the infection, in addition, enough rest and adequate nutrition can produce a 100% cure. In the case of people with latent tuberculosis, they have been prescribed a series of medicines to prevent the virus from developing.

Patient holding a blood-spotted tissue because of tuberculosis

Although according to the severity of the infection, the specialist indicates the appropriate treatment for each case. We must know that the treatment is long and very complex since the taking of antibiotics at the exact time implies a lot in relation to healing this disease. Keep in mind that the doctor will send treatment according to the aggressiveness of the specific bacterium.

The general advice in treating tuberculosis is to maintain environmental hygiene, cleanliness, and ventilation at home. Also, eating properly and adequate personal hygiene. You should wash your hands frequently during the preparation of food. You must also keep raw meat separate from cooked food and other foods that will be eaten raw, as it helps the prevention and disinfection of bovine tuberculosis. Do not stop receiving the vaccines indicated by the health authorities in the country where you are.

How to prevent this disease?

The attitude of the population is very influential in the case of the prevention of this disease. Always carry a handkerchief at the reach of your hands for coughing (exclusively), or better yet disposable tissues to be discarded after coughing. At the time of treatment it is necessary that the patient remains isolated or quarantined for at least the first 2 or 3 weeks of treatment, thus avoiding the spread of the illness to the surrounding environment, being the physician who decides who should have contact with the sick person and take the necessary precautions like the use of a mouth lid. It is important to know that the sun eliminates the bacteria. For this reason, the patient’s room must be sunny.

SOURCEMariángel Meléndez
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