Tuberculosis is not only a disease of the poor: who risk getting sick
Tuberculosis has been known to mankind since the Stone Age, but even modern society is not immune from this ailment. Today, March 24, World Tuberculosis Day: in Ukraine, the disease is not uncommon, unfortunately. Since 1995 in the country, this disease has the character of an epidemic.
Also on March 24, phthisiatricians celebrate their professional holiday – doctors who are engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. Therefore, it will not be superfluous for each of us on this day to once again recall what is tuberculosis and how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this serious disease.
Tuberculosis can be dangerous for everyone.
Koch’s mycobacterium causes the disease: this pathogen is named after the bacteriologist R. Koch, who discovered the tubercle bacillus as early as 1882. In most cases, the disease affects the lungs, but it can also spread to other organs – bones, skin, eyes, urinary system, etc. Bacteria enter the body from a person infected with tuberculosis with an open form of the disease through airborne droplets: when talking or sneezing. Tuberculosis is often disguised as other diseases and proceeds in a latent form. According to phthisiatricians, in spite of modern methods of treatment and diagnosis of tuberculosis, they still have not managed to overcome the disease.
Such difficulties are associated both with the mutation of mycobacteria and the development of their immunity to anti-tuberculosis drugs, as well as with a frivolous attitude to the prevention of this disease among the population. Tuberculosis has long ceased to be a disease of the poor or homeless: in addition to the low standard of living and malnutrition, neglect of preventive examinations, low immunity, and bad habits, especially smoking, lead to the development of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is primary and secondary. Many of us have had the primary form of tuberculosis.
(especially in childhood), without even knowing it. A strong immune system and a good quality of life help to cope with the infection. In addition, more than 90% of Ukrainians are infected with Koch’s wand, but not everyone is sick.
How to recognize pulmonary tuberculosis
The initial symptoms of tuberculosis can be confused with signs of a cold or ARVI. A person constantly feels weak and “broken”, in the evening he begins to shiver a little, excessive sweating occurs at night, nightmares may occur. The temperature can be subfebrile (37.2-37.5 degrees) or up to 38 degrees. A small dry cough begins, which gradually increases, most of all – in the morning. If the disease is not treated, then the disease progresses, the following symptoms begin to appear:
pallor of the skin and the appearance of a characteristic blush on the cheeks. A particularly pale and haggard man looks in chronic form.
sharp weight loss
feverish state: prolonged subfebrile body temperature with
time goes into febrile – from 39 degrees and above
cough that goes from dry to wet and is accompanied by abundant sputum. If blood appears in the sputum, this symptom indicates
on education in lung infiltration. With the open form of tuberculosis, bacteria are freely released into the environment: such a patient can
infect from 10 to 50 people a year.
Tuberculosis prevention: who is at risk
The incidence of tuberculosis is highly dependent on the body’s defenses. Strong immunity can cope with the disease and suppress the reproduction of mycobacteria. More than others are at risk for tuberculosis:
smoking and drinking people
dieters or starving
people who are constantly in stress, not getting enough sleep and not fully resting.
Methods of preventing tuberculosis is immunization and the passage of fluorography – X-ray examination of the lungs. The BCG vaccine is on the list of mandatory vaccinations and is first held at the maternity hospital for 2-7 days after the birth of the child. Next, in accordance with the calendar plan, the children are given Mantoux reaction (a button known to us since childhood). If the Mantoux reaction is negative, then do repeated revaccination.
From the age of 15, pulmonary fluorography is the method of early diagnosis of tuberculosis. This examination allows to detect the disease at earlier stages, then the treatment started will be more successful. Doctors strongly recommend undergoing x-ray once a year. And with a long cough, immediately contact a family doctor or therapist.