GREAT BAY (DCOMM):— Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs, but could also cause other serious problems of brain, bone etc.
The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.
A weaken person’s immune system can’t fight off the TB germs and because many strains of tuberculosis resist the drugs most used to treat the disease, TB remains a concern.
People with active tuberculosis must take several types of medications for many months to eradicate the infection and prevent development of antibiotic resistance.
Every year Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), as part of its annual calendar of observances, highlights and creates awareness about health matters. CPS would like to draw the community’s attention to Tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings.
Although tuberculosis is contagious, it’s not easy to catch. You’re much more likely to get tuberculosis from someone you live with or work with than from a stranger.
Most people with active TB who’ve had appropriate drug treatment for at least two weeks are no longer contagious.
Although your body may harbor the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, your immune system usually can prevent you from becoming sick.
For this reason, doctors make a distinction between: Latent TB. In this condition, you have a TB infection, but the bacteria remain in your body in an inactive state and cause no symptoms.
Active TB, is a condition that makes you sick and can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later. Signs and symptoms of active TB include: Coughing that lasts three or more weeks; Coughing up blood; Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing; Unintentional weight loss; Fatigue; Fever; Night sweats; Chills; Loss of appetite; and swelling or enlargement of lymph nodes.
Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of your body, including your kidneys, spine or brain. When TB occurs outside your lungs, signs, and symptoms vary according to the organs involved. For example, tuberculosis of the spine may give you back pain, and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.
See your doctor if you have fever, unexplained weight loss, drenching night sweats or a persistent cough. These are often signs of TB, but they can also result from other medical problems.
Your doctor can perform tests to help determine the cause. It is also recommended to visit your doctor, or the Collective Prevention Services (the Surveillance team) at the Vineyard Office Park, Philipsburg when a family member has been diagnosed with tuberculosis of the lungs.
Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/28326-cps-creates-awareness-and-educates-about-tuberculosis.html