WHAT IS TB?
Tuberculosis in an infectious disease caused by inhalation of germs in the respiratory system of the body.The lungs which are used to breathe are an organ,TB germs often attack and when this happens,the person begins to cough.TB is not caused by witchcraft or spiritual attack.
TYPES OF TB INFECTION
There are two types of TB infection:Active and Inactive TB.
Anybody can get it,active or inactive TB.
ACTIVE TB: Means the bacteria are active in the body and the immune system is unable to stop them from causing illness.People with inactive TB can pass the bacteria onto anyone they come in contact with through cough or sneeze.
INACTIVE TB: This is also called latent TB.I n latent TB,the body has been able to successfully fight the bacteria and stop them from causing illness.People who have latent TB do not feel sick,do not have symptoms and cannot spread TB.
HOW IS TB SPREAD
Infection result in majority cases when:
A person with active TB coughs or sneezes laughs or sings and releases the bacteria into the air and inhaled by another person.
Organisms are transfered to the mouth on fingers or articles like feeding utensils contaminated by an infected person
Indiscriminate spitting of sputum occurs by actively infected person.
HOW CAN I KNOW IF I HAVE ACTIVE TB?
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TB INCLUDES:
Continous cough lasting more than three (3) weeks
Excessive night sweating even when the weather is cold
Loss of appetite
Coughing out of blood
Vomiting out of blood in last stage
TB can be detected in the sputum of a person with symptom through laboratory investigation,
IS IT CURABLE?
Tuberculosis can be cured through the use of combination of TB drugs.
TB treatment is free in Nigeria and available in all direct observed treatment short called (DOTS) centers or government hospitals
During treamtment ,TB germs are progressively destroyed only if medications are taken every day for the recommended period of 8 months.
For the first 2months,one must visit the DOTs treatment centre every day.Remember that private sector TB management may result in multi-drug and poor treatment supervision.
Feeling of wellness after a short perion of treatment may occur,a patient is always advised to complete the 8months course of treatment,and otherwise the infection may reoccur with worse results,ie multidrug resistance
DANGERS OF MULTI-DRUG RESISTANCE TB
It involves the use of second line drugs that are very expensive.
These drugs are highly toxic and of lower efficacy.
Costly laboratory is required to support results.
HOW TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF TB
TB is a disease that spreads to others very easily,It is spread from one person who has TB of the lungs to another person,especially when the infected person coughs,sneezes or luaghs releasing germs,into the air.The germs if breathed in by ahealthy person,he/she becomes infected and is passed on to other family members,especially when many people are living in a room where there is not enough fresh air,therefore it is important that
Open cases detected should be separated from others until treated and stabilized.
Contacts of infectious cases if the tubercullin negative should be immunized with BCG or given drugs to prevent the infection.
Those with TB disease should cover mouths and nose when coughing or sneezing.
New born babies should be immunized with BCG.
Health standards should be raised by improving nutrition,housing and conditions of work.
Supervision and rehabilitation of those who have recovered from infection should be effected.