World Tuberculosis Day: Everything You Need To Know

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World Tuberculosis Day is observed on March 24 every year to spread awareness about the life-threatening disease, to stretch the reach of prevention measures and to celebrate the efforts taken against the disease.

Tuberculosis or TB is an infection caused by a germ named ‘Mycobacterium tuberculosis’. TB infection generally targets the lungs but can also affect other body parts. This is a contagious disease and spreads via air.

In 1882, German microbiologist Dr. Robert Koch discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the main cause of TB. At that time the deadly disease had almost the full Europe and America under its suffering. International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) suggested naming this day as World Tuberculosis Day while celebrating the 100th anniversary of its discovery in 1982.

What causes Tuberculosis?

Unhealthy habits, Alcohol, and smoking are major reasons behind the fatal disease. Irregular lifestyle is also a vital reason behind it as it hampers the immunity of human body. An unbalanced diet and smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day increases the risk by 4 times. Components like malnutrition, poor housing, and sanitation also affect vulnerability to TB.

Symptoms

Continuous coughing for two or more weeks, blood in saliva & cough, sudden weight loss, lack of appetite, night sweats, fever, chills, and fatigue.

Preventions

No smoking, regular exercise, healthy diet regime with intake of plenty of pulses, fruits, fresh vegetables and lean meat.

Treatment

Right medication can cure tuberculosis. The antibiotic treatment varies by a person’s age, health, reaction to drugs, infected area (lungs, brain, kidneys). The standard course of TB treatments lasts about 6 months. The drugs are highly toxic to the human body and can cause dark urine, fever, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Theme

‘Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world’ is the theme of World TB Day 2018. The main focus this year is on building commitment to end TB. It is a crucial theme and will be followed by a high-level meeting at UN General Assembly on TB this year in New York.

World TB Day provides the chance to highlight the disease and to speed up the progress to end TB.

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