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Everyone at Risk: Tuberculosis Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by ADESEYE, Nigeria Nov 12, 2003
Health   Opinions


Tuberculosis (TB) is an important public health problem in both developed and developing countries. It is a contagious, primarily air borne, bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) caused disease whose cases of infection dropped in the 1940s and 1950s when effective antibiotic therapies for it were introduced. However, this decline became reversed in 1985 and the number of active TB cases rose thereby killing more people than ever before. Due to transcontinental movement of people, increased poverty resulting in room congestion, poor nutrition, failure of patient to take their prescribed antibiotics and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which helps the bacterium to thrive with little opposition from the patient’s immune system, Tuberculosis turned for the worst. About one third of the deaths caused by AIDS are accounted for by TB.

TB bacterium affects the lungs (it may also affect other body organs), and may remain passive or active. One in every ten people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis may develop active TB at some time in their lives. Early symptoms of active TB include; weight loss, fever, night sweats and loss of appetite. With the manifestation of these symptoms, one should see the health care workers who will ascertain the cause of the symptoms. Some of the test involved in the diagnosis of TB is a skin test, chest X-ray analysis and analysis of phlegm from the patient. For the skin test, a substance would be injected under the skin of the forearm. About 72 hours later if a red welt forms around the injection site, then the person has, or has once had, or has once been inoculated with the vaccine of the disease. The X-ray and phlegm analysis is used to confirm whether the patient is presently with the disease.

The epidemic is growing at an alarming rate, everybody is at risk. In 1994, it was estimated that nearly 90 million new cases of TB will be recorded in the following decade with over 30 million deaths. An untreated TB patient is likely to infect ten to fifteen people in a year. TB has a killing rate of 8,000 people per day and approximately 2-3 million people every year with greater percentage coming from the productive age – 20 to 40 years. This is quite greater than the death rates recorded for malaria and AIDS.

Refugee camps seem to be one of the major breeding ground for TB due to unkempt settlements, unplanned housing, lack of infrastructure and trained heath personnel. Over 17,000 refugees become infected with TB each year and this may spread to neighboring communities. Closing borders to immigrants and refugees will not protect a country from this infectious disease, so we have to fight the disease itself.

To those who have knowledge of the disease, we cannot afford to stand and watch with hands folded while TB is reaping millions of promising lives all over the world. Spread the news; spearhead the campaign against TB in your local areas.



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Good Topic
Shah Khanam | Nov 15th, 2003
good. but i need to know how to prevent it from happengin or any conditions to aviod.

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