World Tuberculosis Day 2024

World Tuberculosis Day 2024
25 Mar 2024
6 mins
Table Of Content
World Tuberculosis Day 2024

    March 24 is recognized as World Tuberculosis Day each year worldwide. The theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2024 is “Yes! We can end TB”. Investment in efforts and resources to end TB is critical now, especially amid COVID-19, since the pandemic has reversed the years of progress made in the fight to end tuberculosis.


    To educate and create awareness to the public about the impact of TB around the world, World Tuberculosis Day is observed.  It is the second infectious disease and the 13th leading cause of death after Covid-19. According to research made in 2020 by WHO, the South-East Asian Region has reported the largest number of new TB cases. Out of which, Two-thirds of the new TB cases have been reported in India, China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. This research emphasizes the importance of raising awareness of Tuberculosis.

    Not everyone infected gets sick.


    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. This disease mostly affects the lungs, but other body parts such as the kidney, brain, and spine are also affected. People who get infected with latent TB do not fall ill. This happens when their immune system effectively fights against bacteria. However, persons infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis have a five—to ten percent lifetime risk of falling ill.


    When an individual develops active TB disease, the tuberculosis symptoms that may occur are:

    • Pain in the chest
    • Bad cough (lasting longer than two weeks)
    • Coughing up blood or mucus
    • Tiredness or weakness
    • Loss of appetite
    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Night sweats
    • Weight loss


    Let's Discuss Some Frequently Asked Questions About TB:


    How Does It Spread? Who Is More At Risk?


    When a person with TB in the lungs talks, sneezes, coughs, or sings, and if someone inhales the expelled droplets, which contain bacteria, they can get infected. This happens when the infected person is in close contact with someone for several hours. 


    Anyone can get TB disease, but people who are at greater risk include:

    • People who are in close contact with infected people for a long time or live in areas with high levels of TB.
    • People who have weaker immune systems (resulting from diseases such as HIV and diabetes or from treatments such as chemotherapy). People with HIV infection are eighteen times more prone to develop active Tuberculosis.
    • People who have a poor nutritional status
    • People who smoke or have an alcohol addiction. Smoking also makes the infection harder to treat and increases the chance of developing an infection after the treatment.


    How Is TB Diagnosed?


    Two kinds of tests—TB skin test (TST) and TB blood test—are used to detect the TB bacteria in the body. A positive test result indicates the presence of bacteria, but whether a person has active or inactive TB will be determined by X-rays, CT scans, and tests on sputum and lung fluid. 


    Is TB Treatable & Curable?


    Yes, it is a disease that can be treated and cured. If you have active TB in the lungs, the physician will usually prescribe at least a six-month course of a combination of antibiotic medications. People with latent tuberculosis can be prescribed only one or two types of TB drugs. The TB medications include isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, rifapentine, and pyrazinamide. The overall health and severity of the TB infection decide the recovery rate.


    It is important to take the medications exactly as prescribed by the physician to get better. Skipping or stopping the medication without medical advice may worsen your infection. If left untreated, tuberculosis can be fatal.


    Can Tuberculosis Be Prevented?


    Always wear a face mask and avoid spaces with poor ventilation when it is essential to spend time with or take care of a person with active TB. Healthcare professionals who work in situations that have a high chance of encountering people with TB should get tested on a routine basis. 


    The Bottom Line:


    If you are at high risk of developing tuberculosis or experiencing any symptoms, contact your healthcare professional as soon as possible. As mentioned earlier, if you are being treated for TB, make sure you stick strictly to the treatment schedule even if the symptoms go away.

    Written by
    Dr VijayalakshmiMedical Content Writer
    AboutDr. Vijayalakshmi is a Medical Content Writer at MrMed. She completed her Bachelor of Dentistry (BDS) from Sri Ramakrishna Dental College, Coimbatore, in 2022, where she expertise in dental and clinical research. During her internship, she has also worked on various research projects and presented scientific papers in national UG seminars. Post her UG, she has upskilled in pharmacovigilance regulations and clinical trial methodology through certification courses. She is proficient in researching, writing, editing, and proofreading medical content and blogs.
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