Tuberculosis (TB) Control and Prevention
According to World Health Organization, tuberculosis germs infect approximately one third of the world’s population every year. To prevent the damage caused by development of TB, one must know TB control and prevention.
How to Control TB?
- If a patient has been tested positive for latent TB, his/her doctor will prescribe a drug regimen that destroys the dormant bacteria or stops it from becoming active. Isoniazid is a medicine taken orally twice a week for a nine-month period. Isoniazid is strongly effective, but may also cause some side-effects including liver damage, fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting and yellowish skin.
- Active tuberculosis is treated with a combination of four different drugs namely, rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide and ethambutol. To prevent the bacteria from becoming resistant to the treatment, patients of active TB are also given a variety of antibiotics.
- For effective control of TB, a patient must maintain a consistent regimen for taking the drugs. Improvement in the condition of TB patient is usually witnessed within a couple of weeks after the treatment, but this does not mean that TB has been cured completely. Stick to the prescribed medications to complete the course. Poorly treated tuberculosis can relapse and will no longer respond to drug therapy.
- TB is a contagious disease and to control its spread, the sufferer of active tuberculosis must stay at home. Medications for TB control cause fatigue and weakness. A patient must take enough bed rest to keep the immune system healthy. TB patients should avoid contact with other people.
How to Prevent TB?
- For the complete prevention of TB, avoid spending a lot of time with individuals with active tuberculosis or those, who have just started taking the TB treatment. After a considerable time following the treatment, a person is no more contagious. If you are required to be exposed to TB patients, use facemasks.
- The best way to prevent TB is vaccination. Get yourself and your family vaccinated against TB beforehand. If you are compelled to come in contact with TB patients, get yourself tested to know whether you have contracted tuberculosis or not. If you are diagnosed with TB, seek appropriate treatment.
- If anybody in your family or friends has active tuberculosis, ensure that he/she follows the appropriate treatment as prescribed by doctor. TB is a communicable disease and an untreated TB patient can become a threat to those around him/her.
- To detect TB at its earliest stage, educate yourself with TB symptoms. Early signs of active TB are fever, chills, sweating (especially at night) and digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weakness, sudden weight loss and extreme tiredness.
Talk to your doctor to know how TB is diagnosed and what the various treatment options are.
Read more articles on Tuberculosis.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 12, 2012
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