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TB is curable, preventable: Here’s how….

Tuberculosis (TB) is an extremely contagious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily affects the lungs, but it can also affect other organs such as the spine, kidneys, and brain. 

TB is spread through the air when a person with active TB disease in the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. The bacteria can linger in the air for several hours, infecting anyone who breathes them in.

Yet, not everyone infected with tuberculosis becomes ill. Individuals who have a weaker immune system, such as those who have HIV or are malnourished, are more prone to acquire active TB disease.

Tuberculosis Prevention

Being immunized with the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is the most effective strategy to prevent tuberculosis (TB). In many countries with high TB rates, newborns are given the BCG vaccine. It is also given to some individuals who are at high risk of contracting tuberculosis, such as healthcare professionals and HIV patients.

Another strategy to avoid tuberculosis is to maintain proper respiratory hygiene. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow, and dispose of used tissues properly. It is also critical to ventilate indoor places to prevent the growth of tuberculosis germs in the air.

Isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) can be used to prevent the development of active TB disease in patients who are infected with TB germs but do not have active TB disease. IPT is indicated for HIV patients and anyone who are at high risk of developing active TB illness.

TB treatment

A mixture of antibiotics administered over several months can cure tuberculosis. It is critical to finish the entire course of therapy to guarantee that all germs are eliminated and to avoid the development of drug-resistant TB. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is a type of tuberculosis that does not respond to regular medications and is therefore more difficult and expensive to cure.

Tuberculosis is a dangerous and sometimes fatal disease that can afflict anyone. But, with the proper precautions in place, it is both avoidable and curable. Immunization with the BCG vaccination, excellent respiratory hygiene, and IPT for those at risk can all assist to prevent the development of tuberculosis. Finishing the entire course of medicines is critical for treating tuberculosis and preventing the development of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Writing by Saadatu Albashir