Tuberculosis (consumption) is an infectious disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, also called Koch’s bacillus. It has been known since ancient times. Clear traces of transferred tuberculosis were found on the skeleton of a man who lived in the Stone Age, in the tombs of Egypt. The main manifestations of pulmonary tuberculosis are described by Hippocrates and Avicenna.
More than 1.4 million people die of tuberculosis annually in the world. For this disease, there are no state borders, differences in nationality, age or social status. The organization of the fight against it is assigned to the priority problems of the national security of almost all countries in the world.
The causative agent of tuberculosis spreads through the air, as in colds. The main source of infection is a person who has pulmonary tuberculosis. From the respiratory tract, especially during coughing, sputum is secreted, containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis and having a high degree of infectivity. Small droplets of sputum can enter the respiratory tract of a healthy person nearby. Sputum can settle on the surface of the floor or the ground, on objects and things. Subsequently, dried sputum droplets with dust rise into the air and also infect people. Mycobacterium tuberculosis retains its viability in the environment for a long time, especially in humid and dusty rooms. Fatal to mycobacteria are prolonged ultraviolet radiation and disinfectants.
If untreated, a patient with an infectious form of pulmonary tuberculosis can infect 10 to 15 people per year. One in 10 people infected during this or that period of life develops tuberculosis.
Various side effects that reduce the protective forces of the human body result in the development of tuberculosis: chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus, peptic ulcer, lung and kidney diseases), treatment with hormones and antitumor drugs, the presence of HIV infection, bad habits, stress, high-quality fasting, poor household living conditions.
The main symptoms characteristic of tuberculosis are:
- cough for 2-3 weeks or more, hemoptysis;
- chest pain;
- sweating at night;
- periodic increase in temperature;
- general malaise and weakness, weight loss.
Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
In order not to get sick with tuberculosis, it is necessary to keep a healthy lifestyle. Good health requires a healthy nervous system, so it is important to avoid stress. The food must contain a sufficient amount of protein and other microelements. An important condition for maintaining health should be daily normal physical activity. Dusty, unventilated rooms favor the spread of tuberculosis bacteria. To prevent the disease, it is necessary to ventilate the rooms.
It is possible to reduce the risk of tuberculosis in a child by BCG vaccination, which is mandatory and is free for all children in the hospital.
Often sick children or children with chronic diseases are a “risk group” for tuberculosis. This category of children should be given special attention. In this case, additional treatment and preventive measures should be carried out. If there is evidence, a physician is obliged to send the child for a consultation with a phthisiologist.
In order to protect the child from the disease, adults themselves must be sure that they are healthy.
An apartment where a patient with tuberculosis has been staying for a long time must be treated. Mycobacterium tuberculosis retains its viability in the environment for a long time, especially in humid and dusty rooms. Fatal to mycobacteria are prolonged ultraviolet radiation and disinfectants. It is better to order the treatment of the premises by specialists of the disinfection service.
The main method for detecting tuberculosis and other diseases of the respiratory system, especially lung cancer in adults, is a systematic fluorographic examination. A chest x-ray can be done. If tuberculosis is suspected, the doctor after an additional clinical examination will refer you to a phthisiologist.
Currently, the tuberculosis clinics have all the modern diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for treating this respiratory disease.
The main conditions for successful treatment of tuberculosis are its timely detection (during preventive examinations) and the early treatment of patients themselves for specialized medical care. A patient with tuberculosis must receive timely treatment in full since interruptions in treatment result in the development of a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, which is very difficult to cure.