by Queenette Obinna
The title of this article may sound like a scary movie or something horrific but trust me, this article itself isn’t horrific but the cough is contagious. I’m sure we all know the proper way to cough by now (coughing into your elbows, like doing the DAB dance step).
Cough is actually a body reflex, it’s a sudden, forceful hacking sound to release air and clear out irritants which don’t belong in your breathing passage but when it becomes persistent, it’s a sign that something is wrong. This article will be addressing cough in respect to Tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an air-borne infection caused by a bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis which spreads via respiratory droplets. These tiny droplets are released into the air when people who have an active TB infection talk, cough, sneeze, sing (I know right, never knew harm could come from singing) or transmit their saliva through the air.
When it comes to TB, anyone can actually have it. It’s not confined to a particular race, gender, religion, socio-class or age, but people with compromised (weak) immune system are at a higher risk of getting it.
Medications and conditions likely to weaken the immune system include:
Severe kidney disease
Very young or advanced age
The signs and symptoms of TB in the body include:
Cough that lasts for 3 or more weeks
Coughing of blood
Chest pain, or pain when breathing or coughing, Fatigue
Unintended weight loss
Loss of appetite
Significant hand clubbing
Do take care to note that, TB affects the lungs most often but can also affect other parts of the body outside the lungs such as the kidney, brain, bone, larynx, spine, lymph node. For instance, tuberculosis in the kidney might cause blood in urine or tuberculosis in the spine can cause back pain.
There is no denying that tuberculosis is contagious and can put you at risk of having COVID-19, hence if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms do well to see your doctor or visit the nearest Health Centre to run a test and here’s the catch, TB test is FREE, TUBERCULOSIS is TREATABLE and CURABLE.
If confirmed you have an active TB, it is imperative to keep taking your drugs daily and complete therapy in order to avoid other complications, or the TB progressing to Multi-drug resistant TB or even Extensively-drug resistant TB which are more deadly and difficult to treat.
Right now, you’ll be wondering how TB spread may be prevented. Here are some precautionary measures you can practice:
Good hygiene practices especially when coughing or sneezing
Good ventilation as TB can remain suspended in the air for several hours
with no ventilation
Maintaining a healthy immune system with the use of immune boosters,
eating balanced meals
Vaccination with the BCG Vaccine A.K.A TB Vaccine
Early screening and treatment for active TB
Face masks should be worn when dealing with TB patients
Finally, I hope you’ve been enlightened about Tuberculosis and remember the stronger your immunity, the better your body’s defense. Stick around for our next post on knowing more on how to improve your immune system.
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Do not forget to protect yourself when you go out. Wear a nose mask properly, maintain social distancing and maintain proper hygiene when you get home. Properly dispose face masks, wash your clothes, wash or sanitize your hands and possibly take a bath before you come in contact with anyone. This will help you and your household greatly if you were in contact with an infected person.