World TB Day 2021: Know Risk Factors And Preventive Measures For Tuberculosis
World TB Day 2021: Tuberculosis affects the lungs of the patient. It leads to symptoms like severe cough which worsens with time. As World TB Day is observed on 24 March, read here to know more about this condition.
World TB Day is observed on 24 March each year
- The theme for the World TB Day 2021 is 'The Clock is Ticking'
- World TB Day: Always wear a mask to prevent TB
- Symptoms of TB include tightness in the chest and persistent cough
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. In most of the cases (80%) it damages the lungs and the rest it can affect the spine, lymph nodes, kidney, urogenital tracts liver, bones and any other organs. It spreads through the droplets if the infected person through sneezing or coughing. TB can be latent - the person remains asymptomatic for years together but falls sick when the immune system gets weak. Besides, it can be active with a person developing symptoms in a few weeks after getting infected.
World TB Day 2021: Who all are at greater risk?
Those who have a compromised immune system and suffer from malnutrition remain vulnerable. Patients with chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, kidney diseases and cancer patients remain at higher risk of this disease.
Excessive tobacco smoking also increases the risk as smoking damages the lungs. As per a study, those who smoke more than fourteen cigarettes a day, have a four times higher risk of catching this infection.
How can it be prevented?
For a new born BCG vaccine provides Immunity against this disease. For the elderly similar vaccine is still at development stage. Steps like:-
Good balanced diet with high nutritional value can make immune system stronger and thus prevent the disease spread. Indulging in regular exercises also makes immunity stronger.
Avoiding polluted, dirty filthy areas is also important as anybody who has weak body immunity becomes an easy target.
Other prevention steps include- proper hygiene like washing hand after coughing and sneezing.
TB in the time of Covid-19
TB patients should be extra careful as TB damages the lungs and Covid-19 though a viral disease also affects the lungs. So if a TB patient catches Covid-19, it can be extremely risky. In a situation like the one prevailing today TB patients need to be extra careful and avoid visiting crowded areas completely, besides wearing the mask and maintaining proper personal hygiene.
(Dr. Anurag Mahajan, Vice Chairman - Critical Care, PSRI Hospital, New Delhi)
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