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5 Things to Know about World Tuberculosis Day

Tuberculosis specimen

World Tuberculosis Day is observed on the 24th of March each year. It helps raise awareness around the life-threatening disease that still continues to plague many worldwide. TB day enables us to recognize the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch discovered the bacterium that enters the lungs and causes tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is an illness that spreads through the air and mainly affects an individual’s lungs, though it can reach the rest of their body as well. It can also lead to weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and night sweats. During the 20th century, it was the leading cause of death in the United States.

Today, with improvement in research and treatment, TB has been largely controlled. However, worldwide, people still get diagnosed with it. This is why it is imperative that we raise awareness by educating the people around us. Here are the top things to know and understand about world tuberculosis day.

1.   TB is Prevalent in Six Main Countries

According to the WHO, about 1.8 million people with TB died in 2015. Of these people, nearly 60% of them were from India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria, Indonesia, and South Africa. This means that a large segment of the worldwide population affected by TB comes from this region and predominantly third-world countries.

2.   TB Requires Extensive Treatment

Even though TB is life-threatening, it can be cured through treatment. However, this treatment is extensive since it takes six to twelve months. You also need to work together with a healthcare provider who keeps a check on your medication. This is why TB is not properly treated in third-world countries and other rural areas.

3.   Certain People Are Higher At Risk for TB

Those with a compromised or weak immune system are at a higher risk of getting TB and experiencing severe symptoms. Such people can be those with diabetes, malnutrition, and those that excessively smoke. For them, even treatment is difficult.

4.   There are Medication and Drug-Resistant TB Variations

When TB is not treated properly, the TB germs can become resistant to medication and drugs. TB patients who don't take all of their medication can also happen to TB patients. Such individuals develop multi-drug-resistant TB, which is harder to treat. For them, treatment is more extensive, difficult, and expensive.

5.   Not Everyone with TB Bacteria Gets Sick

Not everyone with TB bacterium can get sick. Only those who are at high risk can get quite sick. Other individuals with the bacterium have latent TB wherein they don’t experience the typical symptoms and cannot spread it to others. But a small proportion of people go on from having latent TB to actual TB.

Final Words

While Tuberculosis is pretty much unseen in the United States, it is imperative to create awareness. Health One Family Medicine providers are trained to treat and diagnose acute and chronic problems and help patients feel their best.

Book an appointment with one of our medical providers by calling on (469)262-5762. You can also visit our website https://www.healthonemedicine.com/ for more information.

Author
Health One Family Medicine

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