World TB Day 2020: Globally, World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24 March every year. It is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to combat the spread of the disease.
As per WHO reports, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause of a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS) worldwide. Millions of people continue to fall sick with TB every year. In 2017, TB caused an estimated 1.3 million deaths among HIV-negative people and there were an additional 300 000 deaths from TB (range, 266 000–335 000) among HIV-positive people.
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria TB which was almost wiped out in the late 20th century and only made a comeback in 1985 when AIDS patients were found to be most susceptible.
Although some people will develop tuberculosis soon after being infected, others may develop the disease years later. Since then, although treatments have helped to reduce the rates of tuberculosis, there are some myths surrounding the disease.
Here we have debunked the most common myths surrounding this disease-
Myth 1: Tuberculosis infection may lead to a disease
Not everyone who is infected with TB develops tuberculosis. In most cases, the immune system resists bacteria and prevents them from multiplying in the body.
Myth 2: Kissing can make you TB infected
Tuberculosis is an airborne disease that can be transmitted through the respiratory droplets of an infected person. There is a danger of infection if you have been in contact with an infected person for a long time. The disease cannot be transmitted through saliva by sharing cutlery, cigarettes or kissing.
Myth 3: Tuberculosis only occurs in the lungs
When we associate tuberculosis with the lungs, it affects any part of the body, including lymph nodes, muscles and bones. That said, pulmonary TB or TB of the lungs is the most common type.
Myth 4: You can only get TB at one time
Even if you have cured TB, you can still get it if you come in contact with bacteria. That is, the chance of relapse is as low as two percent.
Myth 5: Tuberculosis is a genetic disease
TB is not hereditary. It is a bacterium that can infect anyone. Genes have no role in tuberculosis. Once effective treatment is started, you can quickly become sterile.
You must be aware that TB is treated for a long time and you should take medication for at least 6 to 8 months to completely cure it. Therefore, there is a risk of relapse and complications if not treated thoroughly and properly.