Health this week
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TUBECULOSIS is a contagious infection that involves the lung. Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium mycobacterium tuberculosis and it is spread through the air. Nearly 1.5 million people are killed globally by the infection every year and there are concerns some cases are becoming untreatable. These diseases-causing bacteria are discharged into the atmosphere in the form of minute droplets when patients infected with tuberculosis cough, speak or sneeze. These droplets have a tendency to evaporate quickly but the bacteria continue to be airborne for a very long time.
People exposed to this air run the risk of getting infected by the disease. It must be noted that tuberculosis bacteria die when exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet light. There are however two main forms of tuberculosis – latent tuberculosis is not contagious mainly because it has not yet turned into full blown infection.
However, if person immunity is weak, latent tuberculosis could turn into active tuberculosis, which is highlycontagious. This is common among patients suffering from AIDS mainly because of their immune system is not strong enough to fight infections and their resistance is very low.
Active tuberculosis is the stage during which tuberculosis is highly contagious and patients with active tuberculosis can spread the disease to other people who are in his or her vicinity. It is therefore important to isolate patients suffering from active tuberculosis once they have been diagnosed with the disease.
In children, especially below the age of 1, the Bacillus Camille has been used for preventing certain types of tuberculosis. In adult, however no vaccine is found to be completely effective. Hence extra caution needs to be exercised while treating patients with tuberculosis.
Also, an important point to note is that the use of vaccine has been linked to many conditions in children, including autism.
How to prevent tuberculosis
It Is extremely important to isolate patients suffering tuberculosis and treat them effectively until the chances of them spreading the disease become negligible. At healthcare facilities, hospitals and other treatment centres, certain standard ventilation and air purification/filtration mechanism are followed in an attempt to curb tuberculosis from spreading further. Families and friends who were in close contact with patients diagnosed with tuberculosis are recommended to exercise additional caution. Conventional medicine may advise the use of antibiotics as a preventive measure toward how to prevent tuberculosis. We do not, but such person should work towards keeping their immune system strong. They could also use herbal antibiotics such as garlic. In an attempt to minimize the risk of spreading tuberculosis and getting infected by the same one must meet and interact with tuberculosis patients only after at least two weeks of treatment. Nurses, physician, other healthcare staff, family and friends of patients might be advised to wear a microfiltration mask while interacting with patients suffering from tuberculosis mainly to protect themselves from catching the infection.
People suffering from persistent cough should try and avoid close interaction with people until they have been tested for TB, and others might want to maintain a safe distance from people with persistent cough because there is possibility of catching the infection.
When in contact with patients suffering from tuberculosis or people with persistent coughs, it is advisable to wash your hands regularly with disinfectant and warm water.
Above all, it is best to concentrate on building immunity, staying healthy, eating well and exercising regularly to prevent getting infected by tuberculosis or any other disease condition. This is by far the best way toward how to prevent tuberculosis.