We live in a country that has the highest number of people affected by tuberculosis (TB) comprising of almost 27% of the world’s TB population. If I must remind you, TB remains as the world’s deadliest infectious killer disease taking the life of around 5,000 people daily. Thanks to World Tuberculosis Day & other global campaigns that have contributed tremendously and reduced mortality rates by 40%.
As the Air Flows
Tuberculosis is an air-borne infection that affects the lungs mainly but it can affect any other part of the body too. Spreading TB is not a hard task-you sneeze, cough or even talk and the germs are good enough to take their own course and get into another person who might breathe in these microbes. This might make the other person stay infected with TB. But there is a difference between being infected with TB and having TB disease. When a person is infected with tuberculosis, he/she has the germs inside the body but the person’s immune system protects him/her from falling sick. This is not infectious but when someone is sick with TB he/she can spread the disease to people around and this refers to the active form of TB. Yet another category is where there are few forms that don’t act upon drugs and are drug-resistant. So, when the physician prescribes drugs to treat the infection, they don’t act against the TB germs in the body.
The risk of the disease depends on the action taken to treat it. Some people experience cough, chest pain and blood-filled mucous and when the necessary steps are not taken, they progress into fatal side effects. Though people assume that the intensity of the disease has not worsened or in fact, lessened they are wrong as still almost a quarter of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis. Common symptoms of TB include:
World Tuberculosis Day
World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated on March 24th each year to make the public realize about the debilitating consequences of the disease. Though globally almost 54 million lives of those affected by TB have been saved since 2000 we are a long way towards eliminating this disease. So, how are we going to achieve the global goal of making this world TB-free by 2030? The theme for 2019, ‘It’s time’ has been perfectly chosen as it comes at the right juncture. Simple, straightforward and to the point, the theme conveys multiple messages. Its time to eradicate TB, it’s time to realize whether you have TB or not, its time to stop the death toll due to TB and so on.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.