Tuberculosis (TB) Causes, Risk Factors, Test and Prevention

Tuberculosis (TB) is known to be an infectious and fatal condition that is caused by bacteria called mycobacteria tuberculosis which affects lungs. Since it is infectious, it often leads to other health complications because a person infected with tuberculosis has a very low immunity.

Tuberculosis (TB) Causes, Risk Factors, Test and Prevention

Tuberculosis Statistics & Facts

  • In the recent times, WHO over 10.4 million cases of Tuberculosis were reported.
  • Over 1.8 million tuberculosis patients succumbed to the disease. This makes TB the topmost infectious killer disease!
  • Tuberculosis is the 2nd largest single infectious agent killer worldwide.
  • India shares 2.2 million case of tuberculosis out of global prevalence of 9.6 million, thus making India the country with highest number of Tuberculosis cases.
  • As per reports around 40% of the population in India is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, majority being having latent rather than active tuberculosis.
  • Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is a vaccine for tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis may affect other parts of the body, such as the kidneys, bones, or the brain. Tuberculosis can even be fatal. There are two forms of Tuberculosis:

  • Latent TB infection
  • Active TB disease

Tuberculosis Causes

Tuberculosis is a contagious disease, not easy to catch until a susceptible person work or live with an infected active TB person. It is spread by droplet transmission through air, when person:

  • Coughs
  • Sneezes
  • Spits
  • Talks

Tuberculosis Risk Factors

An immunocompromised person is at an increased risk of developing TB. High risk factors of tuberculosis include:

  • Infants and children have not fully developed immune system
  • Chronic kidney disease or diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS patients
  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
  • Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn's disease

Tuberculosis Prevention

Almost any disease can be prevented if detected at an early stage. Once a condition is diagnosed early it becomes easier to prevent or even cure it completely.

  • Vaccination with BCG
  • Treating latent infection before it becomes active
  • Improving the air circulation in indoor spaces, have clean environment
  • Use germicidal UV lamps to kill airborne bacteria in the buildings
  • Go to physician if these symptoms are persistent - lasting cough, fatigue, chest pain, coughing up blood, sweating at night, fever, loss of appetite, and weight loss
  • Using Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) in people diagnosed with TB (latent or active)
  • Take all medication until it is cured

Mass reduction in the prevalence of Tuberculosis can be achieved by bringing out mass awareness of signs and symptoms. Regular health screenings will help you be aware of your health status.


REMEMBER - Tuberculosis is a completely curable disease, but if left undetected can be fatal.

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