India bears the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB) globally, about 25 percent of all cases. The disease is estimated to kill 5 lakh Indians every year. But TB is a disease that is curable and preventable. This week on Health Talk we discuss the facts & myths around tuberculosis with Dr. Vivek Singh, Head of Lungs Transplant Medicine from Max Hospital, Saket.
What is tuberculosis? Who are at a higher risk of tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which can affect anyone. Tuberculosis spreads through cough of an infected person. The infected germs can spread from one person to another through a sick person's cough, sneeze or tiny droplets that contain germs. A person with a weak immune system can get affected easily.
What are the symptoms of tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis can affect any organ of the body. Lungs are the most commonly affected organ by TB. The symptoms are visible according to the organ which got affected. Generally, symptoms of TB include mild fever, loss of weight, lack of appetite. But if the Tb affects the lungs, one can notice symptoms like severe and long term cough, blood in cough or clots in different parts of the body. TB can also affect the brain of a person. In India, there are several cases in which TB affects the reproduction and fertility of a person which do not allow the individual to conceive.
What are the different types of tuberculosis?
TB can affect any part of the body. There are several types of tuberculosis such as TB in the lungs or lung membrane, intestinal TB, TB in the brain, TB of reproductive organs or skin TB. According to medical sciences, TB can affect any part of the body except nails and hair.
What are the treatment options for tuberculosis?
The treatment of TB depends on the organ affected by it. The treatment of TB is different for each organ. However, It takes minimum six months to treat tuberculosis. One thing that the patient should keep in mind is that he or she should not stop the treatment until and unless the doctors recommend.
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