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Monday, 19 November 2018

Tuberculosis





Tuberculosis is prevalent in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and south america. It is one of the commonest cause of illness and death in these regions.

Causative organism

  The causative organisms is the tubercule bacillus (mycobacterium tuberculosis). It is rod shaped, non motile and highly resistant to adverse conditions. It can remain alive in dust for several months.

Mode of transmission

   In humans, the mode of transmission is by droplet infection through coughing, spitting and sneezing by patients. It can also be spread by handling objects contaminated with the saliva or sputum of patients. Drinking unpasteurized milk of infected cows too causes the spread of disease.

Symptoms 
   
   Tuberculosis may occur in the lungs, spleen, liver and other organs. The most common form, lung or pulmonary tuberculosis, usually starts with a dry cough , followed later by the spitting of blood stained sputum. The bacteria initially establish themselves in the lungs, multiply and develop into tubercles which ate the foci of infection. As the disease progresses , lesions are formed which can be detected by X-rays of the chest. Other symptoms include chest pains, persistent coughing, fatigue, loss of weight and appetite. This results in the wasting of the body leading to a gradual death.

Control /prevention

   Tuberculosis can be prevented by BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin) vaccination. This vaccine increases any naturally acquired immunity we already posses.

   Other methods of prevention include:

• mandatory BCG vaccination for children and babies;

• well ventilated and spacious dwellings to avoid overcrowding, this reducing the possibility of droplet infection;

• annual medical examination and chest X-ray which help in early detection of lung tuberculosis when treatment can readily arrest it; and

•  isolation and hospitalization of infected people to contain the disease.