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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”no” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=””][fusion_text]TEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TUBERCULOSIS

The WHO (World Health Organisation) reports that South Africa is one of eight countries which accounted for two-thirds of the world’s new TB cases in 2020. The important fact to remember however is that TB can be treated and cured.

What is TB?
The SA government describes TB as an infectious disease which is caused by a germ that attacks and damages the lungs. It can easily be passed to others through coughing or sneezing. Although TB typically affects the lungs, it can also infect the brain, heart, kidneys, larynx, bones, lymph nodes or spine.

What are the symptoms of TB?
Common symptoms of active lung TB include a cough with sputum and blood, chest pains, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, fever and night sweats.

WHO advises that TB is difficult to diagnose in children.

Who is most affected?
According to WHO figures, TB mostly affects adults in their most productive years, with 95% of cases found in developing countries.

People with HIV are 18 times more likely to develop active TB as are people with a low immunity system such as undernutrition.

Where can you be tested?
The SA government confirms that you can get a free testing at your nearest clinic. Testing for adults is done by taking two sputum samples, with results available after two or three days. Children are tested through skin tests and chest X-rays.

How is TB treated?
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) notes that TB is treated with a combination of oral drugs for a period of six months for drug susceptible TB, or longer for drug resistant TB. The treatment must be completed even if the medication makes you feel worse before you feel better.

It is very important to be treated. The WHO estimates that without proper treatment, about two thirds of TB-infected people will die.

If diagnosed with TB, do I need to tell anyone?
TB is a notifiable disease and people that you have been in close contact with will need to be notified so that they can be tested.

Must I isolate if diagnosed with TB?
TB is extremely infectious. The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests that you should not be in the same location as others and wear a mask. Ideally, you should be in a ventilated or open space.

Can I have TB but not know it?
The WHO advises that as much as one-third of the world’s population has latent TB but are not feeling symptoms of TB yet. Thankfully, latent TB cannot be transmitted.

If I have latent TB, can I be treated?
Without treatment, latent TB can progress to active TB. Being treated, even if you do not feel sick, can prevent TB or reduce the risk of being infected with TB, according to the CDC.

Must I stick to my treatment plan?
If you are determined to be cured, WHO warns that you MUST take your full medication and stick to the prescribed treatment plan.

Link’s Ryan Conybeare is encouraged by the fact that WHO has a strategy in place to end the TB pandemic by 2035, and that new treatment regimens will go a long way in achieving this goal. For example, in 2019 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved new treatments to fight resistant infections.

“In the meantime, apart from treatment, the best way to manage TB is through education, understanding the  symptoms, and getting tested, which is free at clinics. If the tests are positive, stick to the treatment plan. It is sad that so many people are still dying from this disease because today, nobody needs to die from TB. If you forget everything else in this article, just remember one thing – TB CAN BE CURED!”



While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]