Depending on where you reside this disease may be prevalent or not.
Regardless, tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that mostly affects the lungs (though it could affect other body parts such as the kidneys, spine, or brain.)
Tuberculosis is the 13th global cause of death and ranks 2nd on infectious diseases death (only behind Covid-19), so deadly is this infection that according to the World Health Organization (WHO) 1.5 million people died from the disease in 2020
Tuberculosis, what causes it?
Like myriads of other infections, tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis but then you don’t just contract tuberculosis anyhow as the dominant spread of this bacteria is when an infected person releases droplets in the air while trying to speak sneeze, cough, laugh or even sing.
Coming in contact with the droplets would result in tuberculosis.
If you are ill or know someone who is, what signs and symptoms should you look out for to be certain that it’s tuberculosis?
Signs and Symptoms of Tuberculosis.
Some signs/symptoms include:
- Cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Unintended weight loss
- Poor growth in children
- Coughing blood or sputum
- Chills or night sweats
(Though these signs may vary from person to person)
Some factors could predispose you to contracting tuberculosis, this risk factors include if:
- You have a friend, co-worker, or family member with active Tuberculosis .
- You live in or have traveled to an area where Tuberculosis is common, like Russia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
- You’re part of a group in which Tuberculosis is more likely to spread which could include homeless people, people who have HIV, people in jail,drug addicts etc.
- You’re a health care worker for patients at high risk of TB.
- You’re a smoker.
If one or more of these apply to you, you’re definitely at a greater risk of contracting tuberculosis.
How then can you prevent tuberculosis?
To help stop the spread of tuberculosis
- Use and complete your prescribed antibiotics
- Limit your contact with other people.
- Cover your mouth when you laugh, sneeze, or cough.
- Wear a surgical mask to prevent either infecting or being infected by the bacteria.
- If you’re traveling to a place where tuberculosis is common, avoid spending a lot of time in crowded places with sick people.