March 24, each year, is observed as World Tuberculosis Day. The day is observed across the globe, and the respective governments in association with the World Health Organization (WHO) and some NGOs initiate a series of awareness and information campaigns to help reduce incidents of this disease.
In 2020, the theme of World TB Day is: ‘It’s Time’. The theme underlines that it’s now time to educate people about tuberculosis and also spread awareness about the deadly disease, among doctors and health care service providers. The theme also underscores the fact that as TB is a curable and preventable disease and that it’s important to speak up about the symptoms of the disease to health care providers at the earliest, which will help in early treatment and control of the tuberculosis infection. Early medical intervention would then go a long way in eliminating the disease. The World TB Day also shares personal stories of people who have successfully braved the disease. Another facet of World Tuberculosis Day is that it’s now time to remove the stigma associated with the disease. As tuberculosis infection can strike across regions, races and populations, any individual could be infected with the disease. Thus it is imperative to destigmatize the notions associated with the disease and seek medical intervention as early as possible.
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is an airborne disease, which can fatally affect your lungs. According to rough estimates, the tuberculosis infection is so lethal that it can kill around 4,000 individuals per day. Across the globe, India has the highest incidents of TB. Not only is TB a life threatening situation to people, it is also an economic burden for the country. According to WHO estimations, more than 30,000 people across the world are infected by the disease each year, while 4,000 fatalities are reported in a year because of TB.
This disease is caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis bacteria. Being an airborne disease, it is spread by an infected person’s cough, sneeze or spit. A healthy individual coming in contact with the bacteria – while inhaling – is then infected by the bacteria. As per the WHO data, around one-third of the global population has latent TB. This means that although these people have been infected by the disease, they remain largely asymptomatic: they are neither ill with the infection, nor are able to transmit the bacteria. People who have been once infected by the disease, or those with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to tuberculosis infection.
- The tuberculosis bacteria festers in the lungs causing several symptoms.
- This can range from a worsening cough that lasts for more than three weeks to coughing blood or sputum.
- The disease also results in weakness, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite and pain in the chest.
- Alongside, the infected person can also suffer from high fever, chills and bed sweats during the night.
- The best recourse to prevent tuberculosis infection is to get a BCG vaccination.
- You must also be aware of the symptoms of the disease, and get yourself checked, in case you happen to come in contact with an infected person.
- Medical experts advise immediate treatment, if you are asymptomatic or have latent tuberculosis infection.
- Typically, the health care provider will treat you with the drug Isoniazid for a time period between six and nine months.
- If you are diagnosed with TB, you must stay at home in a well ventilated room. This is because the TB bacteria cannot multiply in fresh air, and requires stale, stagnant air in closed places to grow. In public places, you must always wear a mask, besides closing your mouth while sneezing to prevent spread of the disease.
Thus, World Tuberculosis Day is observed to fight the global menace of this lethal disease. With the aim of eradicating the disease, the collective global efforts on World TB Day provides succour to those suffering from the disease, while spreading awareness about prevention and treatment of the tuberculosis infection. There can be a scenario, where despite your best preventive efforts, you are diagnosed with TB, and dealing with its medical expenses is not less troublesome. To take care of the expenses of such a medical emergency, you can always rely on a health insurance plan. The health insurance plans available on Finserv MARKETS have a wide slew of advantages, like customization through add-ons, swift claim settlement, high-value sum assured, and cashless facilities in more than 6,500 network hospitals. What’s more, you can also opt for a family health insurance plan to secure the health of your loved ones under one plan! So, why wait? Get insured today!
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