“Tuberculosis kills an estimated 4.8 lakhs of Indians each year, or more than 1,400 each day. Around 04/24 lakhs of tuberculosis patients were reported in 2019, a 14 percent increase over 2018,” said Dr. Parth Shah, a pulmonologist consulting in Practo.
According to the online medical consultation platform, the majority of TB-related inquiries came from people aged 31 to 40, followed by those aged 21 to 30. The major metropolitan cities where the majority of inquiries came from (in 2019) included Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Pune. In addition, of the total consultations, 60 percent came from men.
“Considering the above facts, it is safe to say that India is the country most affected by tuberculosis. In India today, there are two deaths every three minutes from tuberculosis. But these deaths can be prevented with proper care and treatment. TB patients can be cured and the battle against the disease can be won, ”Dr. Shah told indianexpress.com.
On World Tuberculosis Day, which is celebrated on March 24 every year, debunk some common myths;
Myth # 1: Tuberculosis is hereditary
Fact: TB is not inherited. Tuberculosis is an airborne disease that is spread when a person with active tuberculosis coughs, laughs, sneezes, or sings and exhales small infected particles into the air. The particles can then be inhaled by other people nearby.
Myth # 2: If someone with TB coughs, I will contact them automatically.
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 # 3: Tuberculosis only occurs in the lowest socioeconomic groups.
Fact: Anyone can get TB, although certain populations, such as immigrants, people with reduced immunity, the elderly, the homeless, and others, are at higher risk. People in contact with these people are also at risk.
Myth # 4: TB infection leads to disease
Fact: Not all people infected with TB develop the disease. In most people, the immune system kills bacteria and prevents them from multiplying.
Myth # 5: Tuberculosis is caused by excessive smoking.
Fact: smokers are predisposed to developing respiratory illnesses. However, tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. So smoking increases the risk of developing tuberculosis.
Myth # 6: Tuberculosis affects only the lungs.
Fact: No. TB can occur in any organ in the body. The most common organ affected by tuberculosis are the lungs and lymph nodes.
Myth # 7: Tuberculosis can be detected by blood and radiological investigations (X-ray / CT scan).
Fact: These tests cannot 100% detect tuberculosis. Blood investigations and radiological investigations are complementary tests. The final diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis is the test of sputum or any secretion of the lung, and for other sites, tissue examinations.
Myth # 8: Tuberculosis is not curable.
Fact: Tuberculosis is curable when medications and a timely and proper diagnosis are administered. Also, when a patient has received a complete treatment.