Published on 07 July 2014, by M. Tomazy.
A reader asked me about recent concern on tuberculosis, especially among new migrants in the developed countries. I here respond to him as a physician.
NOTE: This post for educational purpose and NOT related to social nor political issues.
Tuberculosis (TB) is bacterial infection caused by bacterial species called Mycobacterium. TB is transmitted by aerosol droplets (i.e, through coughing and sneezing), touching contaminated surfaces (mobile phones, doors, etc..), also it can be transmitted through saliva and sputum.
Why is Tuberculosis dangerous?
Tuberculosis is not common in developed countries, however, recently the disease raises concern for the following reasons:
1. The appearance of resistant bacterial strains against known medical therapy.
2. Long-term treatment: TB treatment course ranges between 6 months to 18 months according to Direct Observation Treatment, Short-Course (DOTS) regimen.
3. Combined drug treatment: TB patient must take combination therapy several times daily for more than six months.
4. Increase national expenses: Many countries offer free medical treatment for infectious diseases including Tuberculosis.
5. Serious complications.
1. Immuno-compromized patients (i.e, who have weak immunity), such as HIV/AIDS patients, patients who underwent organ graft, long-period diabetics, autoimmune diseases, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD).
2. Poor sanitation.
3. Overcrowding/ poorly ventilated places.