About tuberculosis

Tuberculosis can be treated!

Tuberculosis today: facts and prospects

Do you know that:

  • Anyone can contract tuberculosis!
  • Tuberculosis can be treated!
  • It is impermissible to self-diagnose tuberculosis and self-treat it!
  • If you have at least one tuberculosis symptom, address the doctor immediately!

What is tuberculosis?

It is an infectious disease. It is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis (MBT) called Koch's bacillus.

What is multi-drug resistant tuberculosis?

Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis or MRD-TB is a form of tuberculosis resistant to at least two most effective antituberculosis drugs. These are isoniazid and rifampicin. It means that these antibiotics will not be effective in killing the bacteria.

 

Main symptoms of the disease:

  • cough lasting over 2 weeks;
  • increased body temperature for more than 7 days;
  • respiratory distress;
  • pain in the chest;
  • poor appetite, constant tenderness;
  • groundless weight loss;
  • increased perspiration, especially at night;
  • blood spitting (presence of blood in sputum released by coughing)

Why is tuberculosis dangerous?

A healthy person can contract tuberculosis by breathing in the drops of moisture containing MBT that are released by a patient with a contagious form of tuberculosis while coughing, sneezing, or talking. Most often, respiratory organs are impaired.

At first, the course of the disease is nonmanifest and people often do not pay attention to continuous feeling sick or try to treat “cold” and “a cough” by themselves. Therefore, treatment of such patients starts late and demands more time and efforts.

Early detection and right treatment result in a person stopping to release MBT into the environment and infecting others.

Early start of tuberculosis treatment is the key to successful recovery.

Who can contract tuberculosis?

  • Anyone can contract tuberculosis, but some people are more vulnerable to the disease, namely:
  • persons who have regular contacts with tuberculosis patients;
  • HIV-infected and patients with AIDS;
  • people suffering from alcohol addition, smokers, or drug users;
  • people with weak immunity due to malnutrition, bad living conditions or chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus);
  • children, for their immune system is not formed yet;
  • elderly people due to weakening of their immune system.

Who can contract MRD-TB?

Drug-resistant forms are usually contracted by people who:

  • do not take antituberculosis drugs regularly;
  • do not take medication recommended by the doctor;
  • develop a repeated case of tuberculosis after treatment by antituberculosis drugs in the past;
  • contacted with a patient with drug-resistant form of tuberculosis.

What should you do if you notice similar symptoms in yourself or your relatives?

There is only one answer: go to the doctor as soon as possible! Do not bide time and do not self-medicate. The sooner you start treatment, the more chances for success you will have.

 

 

What will happen without treatment?

In some cases, patients without treatment die within one to two years. In other cases, tuberculosis acquires a chronic or drug-resistant form. If not treated, a patient with chronic tuberculosis releases MBT for many years and infects people around them. Exacerbation of tuberculosis is accompanied by high temperature and painful cough with blood spitting. Therefore, quality of life worsens significantly.

What tests allow establishing the diagnosis?

Main tests include doctor’s examination, microscopic investigation of sputum, and X-ray examination of thoracic organs. The scope of examination is determined by the doctor. Your task is to address him/her timely.

How is tuberculosis treated?

There are special antituberculosis remedies.

A doctor prescribes to a tuberculosis patient a combination of several drugs that supplement each other. A course of tuberculosis treatment lasts not less than six months, and, in the case of multi-drug resistant form – not less than twenty – twenty-four months.

The most important thing in the course of treatment is to strictly observe all prescriptions and recommendations of the doctor and never interrupt the treatment.

Tuberculosis does not care about the social status and is equally dangerous for everyone.

There are anti-tuberculosis programs and effective medications.

Treatment of tuberculosis should start as soon as possible to achieve the result quicker and easier.

Treatment by antituberculosis drugs is free of charge in Ukraine.

Information booklet

Tuberculosis today: facts and prospects from the Ukrainian Center for Socially Dangerous Disease Control of the MOH of Ukraine

Film about tuberculosis “Know, beware, do not be afraid”, an abridged version.