Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the oldest and most deadly diseases in human history. It is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and primarily affects the lungs. World Tuberculosis Day is observed on March 24th every year to raise awareness about the disease, its prevention, and treatment. In India, TB is a significant public health issue, with millions of cases reported each year. In this blog, we will answer some of the most common questions asked on Google about TB, its symptoms, causes, and treatments in India.
What are the symptoms of TB?
The most common symptoms of TB are coughing (often with sputum or blood), fever with evening rise , night sweats, weight loss, and fatigue. Other symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and loss of weight. TB can affect other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, bones, and kidneys, and symptoms will vary depending on the location of the infection.
How is TB spread?
TB is spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The bacteria can remain in the air for several hours and infect anyone who breathes in the contaminated air. TB is more likely to spread in crowded and poorly ventilated areas. People who are infected with HIV, have weak immune systems, or are malnourished are more susceptible to TB.
How is TB diagnosed?
TB can be diagnosed through a combination of tests, including a chest X-ray, a sputum test and other tests to aid diagnosis . Most reliable tests for TB is a sputum test, which involves collecting a sample of sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs) and testing it for the presence of TB bacteria using various genotypic(GeneXpert/CBNAAT) and phenotypic tests(MGIT culture/Liquid culture) . If the sputum test is positive, further tests may be needed to determine the extent and severity of the infection.
Is TB curable?
Yes, TB is curable with a combination of antibiotics taken over a period of six to nine months. The treatment regimen will depend on the type and severity of the infection. It is essential to complete the full course of treatment and proper compliance to ensure that the infection is fully eradicated and prevent the development of drug-resistant TB.
What are the side effects of TB medication?
The most common side effects of TB medication include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and stomach pain. Less common side effects include dizziness, headaches, and skin rash. It is important to notify your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects, as they may need to adjust your medication.
How can TB be prevented?
The best way to prevent TB is to avoid close contact with infected individuals and to practice good hygiene, such as covering your mouth (use a mask) and nose when coughing or sneezing and washing your hands regularly.
Ensure a healthy balanced diet, and exercise while abstaining from tobacco chewing or smoking.
In conclusion, TB is a significant public health issue in India, and it is essential to raise awareness about the disease, its prevention, and treatment. If you are experiencing any symptoms of TB or have been in close contact with an infected individual, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Midland Healthcare is a leading healthcare provider in India with a team of expert doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of TB. If you have any concerns about TB, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our doctors today.