TB — the myths and the reality

The number of annual deaths from tuberculosis in ten times the number of deaths from AIDS.

Туберкулез — мифы и реальность

In 1882 the German microbiologist Robert Koch announced his discovery of mycobacteria, the causative agent of this terrible disease.

Until the twentieth century, tuberculosis was a death sentence. The invention of antibiotics helped to cope with the epidemic, but today tuberculosis remains a serious challenge for physicians. Unfortunately, in our country the situation with this disease is far from ideal.

What you need to know about tuberculosis? Meets Yury Varchenko, a leading specialist in the development of programs in the field of tuberculosis BO “Network of PLWH”.

Is it true that tuberculosis have only dysfunctional people?

Unfortunately, it is not. In fact, the coincidence of certain factors that reduce the protective forces of the body, risk of Contracting tuberculosis susceptible to all categories of the population. These factors can be divided into two groups: medical and social.

Medical factors are the prolonged use of immunosuppressants, HIV infection, diabetes mellitus, mental diseases, occupational dust diseases.

Social risk factors are valid for the persons without certain residence, migrants, refugees, displaced persons, people who abuse alcohol and drugs, inmates. Risk factors include malnutrition, stress, abuse sunburn.

Smoking is not conducive to tuberculosis
Smoking does appear in the Protocol of treatment of tuberculosis as a risk factor that increases the risk of TB by 15%. This is due to the adverse effects of Smoking on protective and drainage function of the mucous membranes of the lungs.

“Chest x – ray- a bureaucratic requirement, I don’t need it”

Accordingly, international approaches fluorographic research as a method for routine examinations of the entire population really is out of date. Today with this purpose, it is recommended the use of a standard questionnaire on the presence of symptoms of TB: cough, fever, loss of body mass lasting more than two weeks. But in our country, fluoroscopy necessarily risk groups for tuberculosis. In addition, if you find yourself the above symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis or went to the doctor with these symptoms, fluorogram just necessary for the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

Where can I get it?
In Ukraine, more than 90% of the population after 30 years is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The infection occurs mainly in public places: transport, public buildings. And, of course, people living with TB, infected by him.

In Ukraine there is the problem of late detection of tuberculosis, when a TB patient does not know that is sick, and not be drawn in time for medical help and infects others. It is therefore very important in the detection of symptoms of TB as early as possible to seek medical help. This will contribute to effective treatment and the safety of others.

We reduce the risks?
Healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, rest, timely treatment for medical help in case of problems, as well as regular monitoring of the health status of your district (family) doctor and/or specialist.

Tablets to drink not necessarily six months
All diseases in which antibiotics are used, provide continuous admission to recovery, a break leads to the development of bacterial resistance. But if for the treatment of infectious diseases, there are backup drugs, the Arsenal of anti-tuberculosis drugs is limited. It is likely that with regular interruption of the treatment of the patient, no cure. Therefore, interruption of treatment – the worst thing you can do for recovery from tuberculosis.

Are there vaccinations, and how long they will last?
Due to the tense epidemic situation of tuberculosis in our country rationally carried out for all newborns traditional vaccine against tuberculosis BCG (Bacillus of Calmet and Garen) (if no contraindications). It forms anti-TB immunity in the still immature child’s body and protects it is believed to be the most hazardous disseminated forms of tuberculosis. After BCG vaccination immunity lasts for 5-6 years.

How to live with TB in the same apartment?
Danger to others is sick with pulmonary tuberculosis in the presence of a discharge. Therefore, for the period of the presence of the discharge it needs to live separately from healthy individuals. But even if the patient has a bacterial discharge, current approaches provide for the stay of his house in the presence of a separate room and compliance infection control: wearing of surgical mask, regular airing of the premises, availability of UV lamps.

It is believed that the most dangerous is the spray, which identifies a TB patient when talking and coughing. If the particles of the aerosol settles on surrounding surfaces, objects, they do not provide any of the epidemic danger. Therefore, the treatment of patients with tuberculosis is now mainly to be conducted in outpatient, home. The patient, who has no bacterial excretion, already safe for the environment. And some patients after starting treatment in 2-3 weeks are safe for the environment.

How to maintain patient confidentiality in tuberculosis?
Your diagnosis is a medical mystery. Nobody has the right without your consent to disclose your diagnosis, but for treatment you must. On the certificate without your consent, the diagnosis is not written. Therefore, you have every right not to disclose your diagnosis to anyone, including your employer.

Is it possible to get sick with tuberculosis?
A long course of treatment of tuberculosis involves a long-term presence of temporary disability. Therefore, sick leave in patients with TB can be opened up to 10 months, after which the question of disability. During this time, the employer has no right to fire you. If this happens, any court will be on your side.