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Tuberculosis – The World’s Top Contagious Killer

What Is TB And Is It Curable?

Tuberculosis – or TB –  is a bacteria that is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is a very harmful bacteria that targets the lungs, brain, kidney and spine. There are vaccines that reduce the spreading of the disease. Sometimes people with TB do not get sick, this is called latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). TB is a highly contagious disease and although it is curable, nearly 1.5 million people die of this disease yearly.

When the TB is in the lungs, coughing, singing and even talking can spread the disease to others. When it is located in the brain or spine, usually it is not contagious. People with malnutrition, diabetes, and other problems have a higher chance of getting sick. People with TB who are infected, but not sick, cannot spread the disease to others. In most cases, TB is curable by a 6 month course of antibiotics. Customary treatment drugs include isoniazid and rifampicin. Sometimes the patient’s TB does not react to the treatment. In this instance, the patient must go through a longer treatment plan as they have drug-resistant TB. If the treatment is not completed correctly, the patient can develop drug-resistant TB, and can therefore spread it on to others.

To be able to tell if you are a possible victim of TB, the symptoms may include

  • Coughing up blood (phlegm from the lungs)
  • Pain in chest
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Fever

To avoid spreading it, during the first weeks of the treatment do not go to a friend’s house, ride public transportation, and cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Secure the tissue in a plastic bag, and throw it away, then wash your hands. Don’t go to work or school, and make sure to take the medication only as your doctor has prescribed it.


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