Tuberculosis is among 10 causes of death and the leading cause of a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS). In 2018, an aggregate of 1.5 million people died from TB and almost 10 million people fell ill with TB worldwide. However, TB is curable and preventable. Globally, nearly 1.1 million children fell ill with TB and the death rate in the child was 2 lakhs due to TB. Child and adolescent TB is often ignored by healthcare professionals and can be problematic to diagnose and treat. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. Approximately, 484 000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin – while 78% had MDR-TB. The Tb incidence rate is falling 2% per year. An estimated 58 million lives were protected through the proper diagnosis and treatment of TB between 2000 and 2018.
TB is caused by the bacteria named Mycobacterium tuberculosis that most often affects the lungs. However, this is curable and preventable. TB is spread from one person to another person through the air. When people with TB cough, speak, sneeze or spit, they spread the germs into the air. A person who inhales only a few of these germs become infected.
TB is NOT spread by
About one-quarter of the population of the world has latent TB, which means individuals have been infected by TB but are not ill with this disease and also cannot convey the disease.
It may be considered in two categories i.e. active disease or latent infection. The most common type of active TB is lung disease but it may also attack other organs, so-called “Extrapulmonary TB.”
An active TB is a disease in which the bacteria are quickly multiplying and attacking multiple organs of the body. The usual symptoms of active TB irregularly include cough, mucus, chest pain, faintness, weight loss, fever, chills and sweating at night. A person with active pulmonary TB disease may spread TB to others.
This is a rare form of the disease that happens when the bacteria get their way into the bloodstream. In this type, the bacteria rapidly spread all over the body in tiny nodules and affect the multiple organs. This TB can be deadly.
The people who are infected with TB do not develop the disease. They have no signs and their chest x-ray is normal. The only indicator may be a reaction to the tuberculin skin test (TST). On the other hand, there is an ongoing risk that the latent infection may increase to active disease.
TB happens in every part of the world. The prime number of new TB cases happened in the South-East Asian region (44 new cases), followed by the African region (24% new cases) and the Western Pacific (18% new cases). In 2018, about 87% of new TB cases happened in the 30 high TB burden countries. including India, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, China, and South Africa.
Common symptoms of active lung TB are
The highly Skilled laboratory specialists look at sputum samples under a microscope to observe the TB bacteria and their presence. This microscopy notices only half the number of cases while cannot detect drug-resistance.
They can be used to test for M. tuberculosis infection. In the Mantoux tuberculin skin test, inject a small quantity of fluid called tuberculin into the skin in the lower portion of the arm. The test is read within 48 to 72 hours by a skilled healthcare worker who will look for a response on the arm. However, the TB blood test measures the patient’s immune system reaction to M. tuberculosis.
TB is an improvable and curable disease. The TB disease is treated with a typical 6-month course of four antimicrobial drugs. There are two phases of treatment i.e. intensive and continuous phase.
If the patient is diagnosed with TB, he/she will be infectious up to about 2 to 3 weeks during the course of treatment. However, that is imperative to take some elementary precautions to stop spreading TB in society. The following are the precautionary measures.
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