Facts and Myths about Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis or better known as TB is a global health problem, a kind of disease that has affected mankind for thousands of years all the way back from ancient times. About one third of the Earth’s population is affected with this disease. Tuberculosis is a kind of illness we often talk about in our community and in our household, but a lot of us take for granted and do not put to mind the risk it may bring to our lives.

What exactly is Tuberculosis? 

Tuberculosis is a chronic infectious disease which generally affects the lungs but may also affect other parts of the body. It is caused by a bacteria called bacillus Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. 

What are the symptoms of Tuberculosis?

  • Chronic cough with blood containing sputum 
  • Pain in the chest 
  • Haemoptysis
  • Chest pain or pain with breathing
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever 
  • Night sweats 
  • Chills 


6 facts about Tuberculosis 

1. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable
2. TB occurs in every part of the world
3. One hundred forty thousand children died due to TB globally in the year 2014 and 1.8 million people died due to TB the following year.
4. In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new cases of TB.
 

5. Tuberculosis is the first infectious disease declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global emergency
 
6. TB is the leading killer of people living with HIV

6 myths about Tuberculosis 

1. Tuberculosis is hereditary

Correction: TB is NOT hereditary. It is an airborne disease that can only be acquired  when a person inhales particles from someone with active TB. 

2. TB is automatically contracted with a single cough

Correction: TB is not easily contracted. One person should have a close contact with someone sick of TB for a long period of time in order to be contracted. 

3. TB causes lung cancer

Correction: Tuberculosis does not cause lung cancer but it may increase the risk of having lung cancer due to the scarring of the lung tissues. 

4. A person who does not have symptoms of TB is clearly free from the disease

Correction: Remember that a person with Tuberculosis may appear perfectly healthy and may show fewer symptoms from the others but that does not mean he/she is not infected with TB. 

5. Only persons with TB disease need antibiotics

Correction: TB is curable with medication and medical attention but a person who is not yet infected must take certain medecines in order to prevent having TB.

6. A physically healthy person will not get infected by TB

Correction: Anybody and everybody is at risk of acquiring Tuberculosis. 

Preventions for TB: Go to the nearest Health Center and take a TB vaccine and always wear a mask to avoid contamination.

Did you know?

The Philippine government offers free medication for first time victims of TB.     

 
Public information is the key to eradicate Tuberculosis. It is a good start to know the basics about the disease and what to do when one shows symptoms having it. Always remember to stay healthy and TB free!

Sources:

Rertieved December 14,2016 

http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/tuberculosis/en/

http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/tb_facts/en/index5.html 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2980871/

http://www.lungchicago.org/site/files/487/54230/212503/667240/TB_2.pdf

Photo Credits: Google images 

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