Tuberculosis: Myths vs Facts
World Tuberculosis Day: 24th March- Unite to End TB
In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide. Each year about 2.2 million people develop TB in India and an estimated 220,000 die from the disease.
Myth: Tuberculosis is hereditary
Fact: Tuberculosis is NOT hereditary. TB is an airborne disease that is spread when a person with active TB coughs,laughs, sneezes or sings, breathing out tiny infected particles into the air. The particles may then be inhaled by others nearby.
Myth: If someone with tuberculosis coughs I will automatically contact it.
Fact: TB is not easily contracted. You have to be in close contact with someone who has TB for a long time (usually many hours or days).
Myth: Tuberculosis (TB) only occurs in lower socioeconomic groups.
Fact: Tuberculosis can be contracted by anyone, although certain populations such as immigrants,people with reduced immunity, elderly, homeless, and others are at a greater risk. Individuals into contact with these people are also at risk.
Myth: Tuberculosis infection leads to disease
Fact: Not everyone who is infected with TB develops TB disease. In most people, the immune system clears the bacteria and stops it from multiplying.
Myth: TB is caused by excessive smoking.
Fact: Smokers are predisposed to developing respiratory diseases. However, TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. So smoking increases the risk for developing tuberculosis.
Myth: Tuberculosis affects only Lung.
Fact: No TB can occur in any organ of the body. Most common organ affected by TB is lung and lymph nodes.
Myth: Tuberculosis can be detected by blood and radiological (Xray/Ct scan) investigations.
Fact: TB can not be 100% detected by these test. Blood investigations and radiological investigations are supplementary tests. Final diagnosis for pulmonary tuberculosis is Sputum test or any secretions from lung; and for other site tuberculosis is tissue examinations.
Myth: TB is not curable.
Fact: TB is curable when early and proper diagnosis and proper medicines are given. and when full course of treatment has been taken by patient.