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What is Tuberculosis?

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What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

Tuberculosis is a relatively fatal disease that has garnered very little attention over the years and many people are still unaware of what it really is and just how lethal it can become if untreated. In conjunction with World Tuberculosis Day, let’s look into Tuberculosis and get to know it a little better:

1.     Tuberculosis is an infectious disease

Caused by a strain of bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, TB commonly attacks the pulmonary regions such as the lungs but it could also infect other areas of the body as well. This disease is considered contagious – transmitted through droplets from an infected person’s cough. However, direct contact with said person’s saliva such as from sharing a drink or even kissing will not transmit the disease – it has to come from the lungs or throat.

 

2.     Chronic coughing is a sign of TB

Like many diseases which involve the lungs, coughing profusely for a long period of time is a good indicator that something is amiss in your lungs. For TB, it usually includes blood-tinged sputum as well as weight loss and fever in the ball of symptoms. They may all sound like regular illness that can be treated with over-the-counter medicine, but let’s not take things for granted!

 

3.     Tuberculosis is fatal if gone untreated

It is known to be one of the world’s top infectious diseases that occur primarily on the low to middle-income countries. Prior to the fact that its symptoms seem somewhat unsuspecting, people tend to brush it off. It is important to take heed when your cough is ongoing for at least 3 weeks before it is too late!

 

4.     Higher risks for low immunity

It is only logical that if your immune system is not in mint condition, diseases attack your body a lot easier. In this context, if you had TB before, it is important to be aware of your body as it can reoccur if you are not careful or was not treated properly previously. On top of that, regular alcohol consumption as well as drugs can weaken your immunity and many health problems may arise along with TB. So, do value your body while it is still healthy.

 

5.     Tuberculosis is preventable and curable

Early diagnosis and early treatment is always the way to go with any form of diseases and TB is no exception. One way for early prevention is to take the BCG Vaccine in your teens and if you do have TB, medication will be necessary for at least 2 months because the mycobacteria are not only slow to grow but also slow to die. Nevertheless, this is no dead end!

 

I hope everyone is a little more aware that TB should be taken more seriously and I hope this raises an awareness of what it is all about and why you should take precautions. Your health is your wealth and your body isn’t going anywhere; so, take good care of it – eat healthy, stay healthy!

 

 

 

Image: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/ by http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbeworld/ Microbe World

 

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