What is tuberculosis?
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What Does tuberculosis Mean
The TB is an infectious disease caused by the tubercle bacillus and characterized by the appearance of a small nodule called tuber . This disease can present itself in very different ways depending on the affected organ .
It is common for tuberculosis to affect the lungs, although it can also attack the circulatory system, the central nervous system, bones and skin , for example. Among the most common symptoms are coughing up phlegm and / or blood, fever, dizziness, and weight loss.
Tuberculosis spreads through the air. When an affected person coughs or sneezes, they can infect those around them. The most effective form of prevention is vaccination (with BCG ) and the screening and treatment of patients to avoid an epidemic due to contagion.
Among the different types of tuberculosis, we can mention meningeal (which attacks the meninges), cardiovascular (centered on the heart, pericardium or blood vessels), ophthalmic (infection of the eye), osteoarticular (lung infection moves to a bone or joint through the bloodstream), the genitourinary (which can cause sterility), the CNS (in the brain or spinal cord) and the miliary (affects several organs by blood dissemination of the bacillus).
Treatment of tuberculosis usually develops from the supply of drugs . In certain cases, a surgical treatment can be applied that consists of promoting the collapse of the lung so that the organ can remain at rest.
In tribute to the date of the discovery of the tuberculosis bacillus by Dr. Robert Koch , the World Health Organization (WHO) declared March 24 as World Tuberculosis Day .
As with any disease, it is essential to carry out a series of measures to prevent contagion. In the case of tuberculosis, the starting point is to pay special attention to personal hygiene. From the perspective of medicine, those affected should be prevented from exposing those around them to the disease: until a patient has completed the indicated treatment (s), they are responsible for their own well-being and that of their environment. .
Here are some of the recommended prevention measures:
* It is very important that individuals affected by tuberculosis cover their mouth and nostrils with a disposable tissue every time they cough , thus avoiding the effect known as "aerosol";
* wash hands after coughing or sneezing;
* adequately ventilate the place where you reside;
* carry out a complete cleaning of the home with damp cloths;
* wear masks when you are in the middle of other people;
* avoid as much as possible the contact with people who do not suffer from the disease;
* commit to compliance with medical indications;
* do not smoke, since tobacco use promotes the development of tuberculosis.
For several decades, the vaccine called BCG has been used in many countries to help control tuberculosis, especially in minors. Its development dates from the beginning of the 20th century in France, more precisely at the Pasteur Institute. Its peak occurred after the Second World War and it is known that its efficacy in people under four years of age is around 80%, even against the most worrisome forms of tuberculosis; in the rest of the cases, the range goes from absolute ineffectiveness to 80%.
It is worth mentioning that, in Catalonia, a group of researchers is developing an alternative to BCG: the RUTI vaccine, which received its name from the hospital in which it was created.