After the Tuberculosis Bacteria enter the body, Illness may not occur for Years
European University of Lefke (EUL) School of Applied Sciences Academician Medical Microbiologist Dr. Yağmur Ekenoğlu made statements on the occasion of March 24 World Tuberculosis Day.
Ekenoğlu said that Tuberculosis is an air-borne bacterial disease caused by a bacteria named “Mycobacterium tuberculosis” and added that it was discovered by M.tuberculosis Robert Koch on March 24, 1882 and with the recommendation of World Health Organization (WHO) in 1996 March 24 was declared as “World Tuberculosis Day”.
Ekenoğlu said that “Tuberculosis which is found everywhere in the world is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. According to WHO data, about 8.4 million new cases are seen every year and 1.5 to 2 million people lose their lives each year. According to WHO, one third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis, and active disease develops in every ten people who are infected,”. Ekenoğlu pointed out that after the Tuberculosis Bacteria enters the body, illness may not occur for months and even years and this is referred as being infected with tuberculosis or just being infected. Ekenoğlu said that “If tuberculosis microorganisms in the body become active, they cause the disease. Tuberculosis can infect most organs, most commonly lungs, and can be fatal if left untreated or treated poorly. If early and appropriate treatment is initiated and if it is treated adequately and thoroughly, the chance of permanent treatment is 100%,”.
Tuberculosis is a preventable and treatable disease
Pointing out the fact that tuberculosis is an air-borne, preventable, and treatable disease, Ekenoğlu stated that the source of tuberculosis microbes is the patients who have untreated, active lung and laryngeal glands tuberculosis and the disease is spread by breathing, especially by coughing, sneezing and talking, and that microbes could be transmitted by inhalation by healthy people. Ekenoğlu said that “It is observed that, mostly, the patient’s family members and close colleagues are infected with the disease, and after the treatment is started, the infection is rapidly terminated. The most effective way of protecting the society from tuberculosis is early diagnosis and successful treatment of tuberculosis patients,” and emphasized that regular drug usage can stop the tuberculosis and prevent the spread of the disease. He also said that, “As with all airborne diseases, when coughing or sneezing to prevent contamination, it is necessary to close the mouth and nose with a paper tissue, and if there isn’t any paper tissue mouth and nose should not be closed with the hands, but with the inside of the arm,”.
Coughs that last longer than two weeks should be taken into consideration
Ekenoğlu pointed out that the suspicion of the disease begins with the clinical symptoms and pulmonary roentgen findings of the patient, and the diagnosis is made with the demonstration of tuberculosis microbe in sputum and patients may have coughing hat last for more than two weeks, fever, night sweats, chest pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and blood spatter. Ekenoğlu stated that many patients are delayed in seeking a doctor because their complaints usually start slowly, and that delayed diagnosis and treatment causes the disease to progress, and at the same time it has the risk of infecting the environment with microbes, especially the patients with cough and other complaints should apply to a chest disease specialist without any delay.
Ekenoğlu said that “Although tuberculosis is a major public health problem that has not been seen in our country for many years, a large number of people from many different countries are potentially infected with tuberculosis,” and added that PPD or tuberculin skin tests that are used to determine if a person has the tuberculosis infection does not always give accurate results and this constitutes a problem in determining infected patients. Ekenoğlu finally said that, “For this reason, as a society today, we should all know that we are at risk of tuberculosis. Considering that people who show signs of the disease may have tuberculosis, they should act and take necessary protection and control measures”.