Quick facts on  Tuberculosis (TB)

Quick facts on Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis is often called TB for short.
TB can infect any part of the body, but most often it attacks the lungs; it is then called pulmonary TB.
l Symptoms of pulmonary TB are: cough that lasts for more than 2-3 weeks, unexplained weight loss, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, coughing up blood.

l When people with TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the germs that cause TB into the air. A person can be infected by inhaling only a few of these germs.

l Infected people may not feel ill or show any symptoms if their immune system can keep the bacteria under control.

l About one-third of the world’s people are infected without showing symptoms. When someone’s immune system is weakened, the chances of becoming sick are greater.

l TB can be cured with medication… BUT UNTREATED IT CAN KILL.
l Treatment usually takes six months.
l People with TB often suffer from discrimination and stigma, rejection and social isolation.
l People living with HIV are more likely to develop TB than people free of HIV infection;
l TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV in Africa. Worldwide one in four TB deaths is HIV-related;
WITHOUT TREATMENT, THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV WHO ARE SICK WITH TB WILL DIE WITHIN A FEW MONTHS!
TB Drugs can lose their power! But how?
When people do not take all their TB medicines, TB bacilli become resistant to them and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) can develop.
MDR-TB takes longer to treat and can only be cured with second-line drugs, which are more expensive and have more side effects, it is therefore of paramount importance that one adheres to their first line TB treatment to avoid treatment failure.

l Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) can develop when people don’t take all treatment with these second-line drugs. XDR-TB is difficult and sometimes impossible to cure.
l Both MDR-TB and XDR-TB can spread from person to person.

TB is no more a threat Basotho, with appropriate drug treatment and patient’s adherence, perfect health is reclaimed!

By: Retšelisitsoe Nkhahle

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