World TB day is designed to build public awareness around the Tuberculosis and what we can do to help eliminate it. This year’s World TB day is happening on March 24th and its theme is ‘Unite to End TB’.
The World Health Organisation and partners are working together to raise awareness, the status of TB prevention and control efforts.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.
TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.
About one-third of the world’s population has latent TB, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not ill with the disease and cannot transmit the disease.
People infected with latent are at increased risk of developing TB at a later stage. They should remain vigilant for the appearance of any symptoms and report them at an early date. Persons with compromised immune systems, HIV or using tobacco have a higher risk of developing the disease.
When a person develops active TB disease, the symptoms (cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss etc.) may be mild for many months. This can lead to delays in seeking care, and results in transmission of the bacteria to others.
What can we do?
Remain symptom aware at all times and report any symptoms, of persistent cough – lasting 3 weeks or longer, coughing up blood or sputum, fever, unexplained weight loss, loss in appetite, sweating at night to your GP immediately.
Image refrenced from World Health Organisation