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Tuberculosis - How To Control The Infection?

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialist, Delhi  •  22 years experience
Tuberculosis - How To Control The Infection?

Tuberculosis can affect any part of the body, however, it primarily enters the body through the respiratory tract by inhaling bacteria emitted by a Lung TB affected person. Only those who suffer from lung TB can infect others. It is a  disease that is caused by bacteria known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis spreads through the air and is a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing and spitting. The symptoms of this condition include coughing, blood discharge while coughing, fever, extreme weight loss, and chills. Against general myths, this disease can be treated and is curable too. Effective, timely diagnosis and treatment with the correct methods and medication are required. Let us find out the various means for effective treatment of tuberculosis.

Diagnosis: Let us first look at the diagnosis method that will help in detecting the presence of the bacteria in the body. The doctor will take a blood sample and conduct a series of lab tests in order to diagnose the condition. Also, the doctor will check the medical history of the patient so as to understand what kind of complications the person may be prone to. For this, the doctor will also find out if the patient is suffering from diseases like diabetes, malnutrition and other conditions arising out of tobacco abuse. Diagnosis of Pulmonary TB is by sputum for AFB examination and some blood test may also be required.

Medication: Usually, the best way to treat this condition is with the help of a six-month long course of antibiotics that may also last 12 months, depending on the prognosis. The patient will be put in quarantine as well so that he or she does not end up spreading this disease to anyone else. A voluntary medical practitioner or trained health worker will help in caregiving and medicine administration under the instructions of the doctor. The medication will usually consist of four antimicrobial drugs or antibiotics, which will stop the release of nutrition and oxygen to the bacteria so that it cannot develop and grow. This will also ensure that the bacteria is killed eventually.

Control of Infection: The spread of the infection is such that a single sneeze or cough can infect up to ten to fifteen people who are near the patient without proper masks and other gear to prevent the transmission. Therefore, it is the job of the hospital to ensure that proper infection control takes place by using ultraviolet light to sterilize the air around the area where the TB patients have been admitted.

One thing that the patient must remember about the treatment is that immediate and timely treatment with medication must be taken so that the patient is able to get cured. If the patient skips medicines or does not get treated on time, then the infection will come back again and again. And after a point, the patient's body and the bacteria will not be able to react to the medicines.

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