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Everything you need to Know About Tuberculosis

Unfortunately, Pakistan is seeing a rise in the number of tuberculosis patients. This deadly disease can affect the lungs of the human body and other body parts as well such as meninges, which are the membranous coverings of the brain and spinal cord, spines and intestines.

The government is offering free treatment to those suffering from the disease but still instead of a decrease in the number of patients, it is the other way around.

The reasons behind the increase are unawareness, overcrowding and unsafe sputum (a mixture of saliva and mucus coughed up from the respiratory tract) disposal, etc.

Cough that takes long to go combined with low grade fever and weight loss are alarming signs so if any of these symptoms are present then a doctor should be consulted instantly.

Moreover, tuberculosis spreads from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air by a person who has the particular disease. If the person sneezes, talks, sings, coughs, spits or laughs then there is a higher chance that the disease may spread. But still it is not that easy to catch. You are more likely to catch tuberculosis from someone you reside with or work with than from a stranger.

The number of patients of tuberculosis have increased dramatically since the 1980’s because of the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Infection with HIV forcibly puts an end to the immune system, making it difficult for the body to control tuberculosis bacteria. As a result, people with HIV are many times more likely to get TB and to progress from latent to active disease than are people who aren’t HIV positive.

Now what is the difference between latent and active form of tuberculosis? Latent TB, also called inactive TB or TB infection, isn’t contagious. It can turn into active TB, so treatment is important for the person with latent TB and to help control the spread of TB. Active TB makes you sick and can spread to others too. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later.

So if the symptoms of tuberculosis are spotted then immediate consultation with a physician is recommended.

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