Know the Facts about TB Disease, Avoid the Myths!
TB or tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually attacks the lungs, although it can affect any organ in the body. TB infection develops when the bacteria enter through airborne droplets. TB can be fatal, but in most cases it can be prevented and treated. In the past, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death worldwide. After improvements in therapy and the development of antibiotics, the prevalence of TB fell dramatically in industrialized countries.
What is TB?
A person can become infected with TB after inhaling the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). When TB affects the lungs, it becomes highly contagious, but a person will usually only become sick after close contact with someone who has pulmonary TB.
Causes of TB disease
The bacterium M. tuberculosis causes tuberculosis. They can be spread through the air in droplets when someone with pulmonary tuberculosis coughs, sneezes, spits, laughs, or talks. Only people with active TB can transmit the infection. However, most people with this disease are no longer infectious after they have received appropriate therapy for at least 2 weeks.
Symptoms of TB disease
The next facts about TB disease that you need to know are the symptoms that usually arise when someone has TB, namely: A person with TB disease can experience a cough that produces phlegm, fatigue, fever, chills, and loss of appetite and weight. Symptoms usually get worse over time, but may come and go.
Myths and Facts of TB Disease
The large number of TB cases is also accompanied by the public's misunderstanding of this disease. For that, we need to understand some facts about TB as explained below:
Myth: TB only affects the lungs
Fact: TB can attack other organs, including the brain
Most TB infections do occur in the lungs, but can develop and spread to other organs through the bloodstream if not handled properly. Other types of tuberculosis to watch out for are tuberculosis of the bones, seed lymph nodes, and intestines. In rare cases, Myctobacterium tuberculosis can attack the human heart and brain. Types of tuberculosis other than pulmonary are usually not contagious.
Myth: TB cannot be cured
Fact: TB can be cured with at least 6-9 months of treatment
Although the death rate of this disease is high, TB can be cured. TB treatment takes a long time and must be consistent, that is, at least 6-9 months. If not consistently done, the bacteria can temporarily weaken and reappear until they become resistant (known as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis or MDR-TB).
Myth: TB is a disease of people with a lower middle class economy
Fact: Everyone is at risk of getting TB
Social status is one that is often associated with this disease. In fact, TB does not discriminate and can affect anyone, able or less able and educated or not.
The following are some conditions that allow a person to get TB:
- Have a weak immune system, for example people with diabetes, chemotherapy patients, or people with HIV/AIDS.
- Experiencing malnutrition or malnutrition.
- Active smoking.
- Using alcohol and illegal drugs.
- Actively dealing directly with TB sufferers for a long period of time.
- Living in a humid environment and not exposed to sunlight.
We cannot deny that TB is a contagious and dangerous disease. Thus, it is important for the public to understand the facts about TB properly so that awareness of this disease can be further increased, as well as its prevention. If Hermina's friends have family or friends who have TB, support them to get treatment completely. Don't forget to maintain your health and personal hygiene and the environment. Get checked immediately if you experience symptoms of TB, you can consult a pulmonary specialist at Hermina Pandanaran Hospital.