Tuberculosis: General signs and Risk factor
Tuberculosis(TB) is a disease caused by bacteria(Mycobacterium Tuberculosis) that spread through air, when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit or sneeze.
One-third of the world’s population is infected with TB and every year 1 percent of the total population gets affected. In 2016, alone more than 10 million active cases were screened and took 1.3 million lives. Hence it is one of the most fatal disease. Developing countries are mostly affected by TB contributing to 95% of death. India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and philippines contributes more than 50%.
Anyone can get infected with TB. People with TB disease are found in every state in rural areas and cities, in schools, and in many other places where population density is more. TB generally affects the lungs, but can also affect the other parts of human body.
TB bacteria can live in the body without making you sick and showing any signs which is called latent TB infection. People in latent stage do not feel sick and don’t show any TB signs. People with latent TB will not spread the disease.
TB bacteria most commonly grow in the lungs(known as pulmonary tuberculosis),Extrapulmonary TB occurs when tuberculosis develops outside of the lungs.
General signs and symptoms:
Fever, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, Cough lasts 3 weeks or longer and Pain in chest.
Large number of factors contribute to make people more vulnerable to TB infections. The most important risk factor is HIV. On an average 13% of all the people with TB are infected by the virus.
Chronic lungs disease is another risk factor. People who smoke cigarettes have nearly twice the risk of TB compared to nonsmokers.
TB can be treated with medicines. It is very important that people suffering from TB are treated by general physician/doctors and take the drugs exactly as prescribed.
If they stop taking the drugs too soon before completion of course, they can get sick again or can even become drug resistant. TB which is resistant to drugs is harder to treat, treatment cost becomes expensive and associated with higher death rate.