World Tuberculosis Day 2018: Signficance, Theme And More
The theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2018 is to make people committed to make the world TB-free.
World TB Day is celebrated on March 24
- World TB Day is aimed at raising awareness about TB globally
- According to WHO, TB claims 4,500 lives every day
- Treatment of TB takes around 6 to 9 months
Every year, March 24 is commemorated as World Tuberculosis Day. The day is celebrated across the world in order to raise awareness about how TB affects health and the socio-economic aspects in the society. The day is aimed towards achieving the target to end the epidemic of TB, globally. It was on March 24 1882 that German physician and microbiologist Dr. Robert Koch announced about his discovery of the bacterium that causes TB. His discovery was a step ahead in the treatment, diagnosis and cure of TB.
Photo Credit: iStock
What is tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis, commonly called TB is a highly contagious infection which attacks the lungs. It can also spread to other parts of the body like brain and spine. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the type of bacteria which causes TB.
Back in the 20th century, TB was known to be the leading cause of death in the US. While most cases of TB are cured with antibiotics in the present times, the treatment of TB is still pretty long. People suffering from TB take medications for almost 9 months to be cured from the infection.
Photo Credit: iStock
Also read: New Ally Against Tuberculosis Infection Found
How does tuberculosis spread?
An infection like TB can easily spread through air, just like cold and flu. In case a TB-infected person coughs, talks, laughs or sneezes near you and you breathe the germs that s/he released, you too will get infected with TB.
However, TB is not that easy to catch. It is usually when you spend a lot of time with a TB infected person that you too will catch the infection.
Kinds of tuberculosis
Latent and active TB are the two kinds of TB. In case of the former, your immune system stops TB germs from spreading in your body. You might still have the infection but will experience no symptoms. However, these germs can get active with time if they are left untreated for too long.
In active TB, the germs are much active and multiply too quickly. They can make you sick and the germs can spread to other people as well. Most causes of TB are active TB.
Also read: Is Tuberculosis A Dangerous Disease?
Symptoms of tuberuculosis
In case you are continuously coughing for more than 3 weeks, you experience a pain in the chest; you bleed when you cough; you feel tired all the time; you experience chills and have fever; you experience weight loss or a significant loss of appetite, there are chances you have TB.
Significant progress has been made in the field of TB in terms of its treatment and diagnosis. But TB continues to be known as the top infectious killer across the world. The World Health Organisation says that TB claims as many as 4,500 lives every day.
Theme for World Tuberculosis Day 2018
The theme for World TB Day 2018 is "Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world". The theme aims at making people committed to make the world TB-free. This commitment should not be only at the political level, but also at the level of all socio-economic strata of the society. People who are health workers, doctors, NGO workers, parliamentarians and community leaders can all come together and be leaders in the effort to put an end to TB.
The theme is considered to be critical because there will a high-level meeting at the upcoming UN General Assembly. This makes TB a matter of political importance this year as it will be discussed in the presence of Heads of Sates in New York.
The occasion of World Tuberculosis Day gives an opportunity to bring the disease under the spotlight. The occasion can be put to use effectively by mobilising people at the political and social level and work towards ending TB more proactively.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.