Chennai: Tuberculosis is a serious life-threatening bacterial infection which affects the lungs and is both preventable and curable if treated in its earlier stages.
It’s a clinical condition caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis which affects multiple vital organs in the body.
Doctors say that adults may have dormant infections which can flare up in the form of a disease after many years due to lower immunity levels and with increasing age.
“We mostly see higher number of cases of pulmonary TB in the State. Once detected at an early stage, medications help patients recover completely. The sputum test or advanced invasive techniques for TB testing are available and should be adopted for early-stage detection,” explained Dr V Ranjith, consultant pulmonologist.
Those with extremely poor lung immunity and lower levels of general immunity are at risk. “People suffering from infections like HIV and STDs etc, apart from old age people, children with poor immunity, people on immunosuppressant and other mentally ill patients etc, exposed to pulmonary TB are among the most vulnerable sections,” pointed out Dr Suresh A, consultant pulmonologist, SIMS Hospital. “This bacterial infection does not restrict to a particular region but can really affect other parts of the body namely kidney, skin, and brain etc.” In Tamil Nadu, the success rate of TB treatment has been 86 per cent, based on a recent report submitted by the Joint Supportive Supervision Mission team from the Central Tuberculosis Division after surveying the State Tuberculosis elimination activities for three days.
“Our communication with the public should be simple, interesting and strong in the form of doctor’s talk, workshops, expert-based articles, seminars, films, and documentaries,” Dr Suresh added. “Additionally, we also need to spend more time and energy on scientific research and have collaborations in the form of breakthrough clinical trials and experiments for coming up with best version of an effective vaccination against TB.”