Tuberculosis (TB) is an immensely contagious infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It mostly affects the lungs but can also target other parts of the body. While TB can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, it is also preventable. In this blog, we will acquire some important preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of tuberculosis transmission and promote a healthier, TB-free society.
Vaccination: One of the most effective preventive measures against tuberculosis is vaccination with the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. This vaccine, typically administered in infancy, helps in reducing severe forms of TB, such as TB meningitis, and disseminated TB in children. While the BCG vaccine doesn’t provide complete protection against pulmonary TB in adults, it still plays a significant role in preventing severe forms of the disease.
Early diagnosis and treatment: Prompt identification and treatment of active TB cases are essential for preventing the transmission of the disease. People with symptoms like persistent cough, unexplained weight loss, fever, night sweats, and fatigue should seek medical attention. Diagnosis tests, including chest X-rays, sputum analysis, and TB culture, can confirm the presence of TB bacteria. Once diagnosed, you should adhere to the prescribed treatment regimen to prevent the development of drug-resistant strains and further transmission.
Contact tracing: Identifying and tracking the person who has been in close contact with TB patients is a vital component of TB prevention. Contact tracing helps identify latent TB infection or active TB cases in close contacts, allowing for early detection and treatment. Close contacts may include family members, co-workers or individual sharing of latent infection can prevent its progression to active TB.
Infection control measures:
- In healthcare settings and communal environments, implementing infection control measures is vital for preventing the spread of TB. These measures may include:
- You should ensure proper ventilation and airflow in enclosed spaces to minimize the concentration of infectious particles.
- Educating the importance of practicing good respiratory hygiene includes covering your mouth and nose with an elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Urging people to use masks like N95 respirators during procedures that produce aerosols in hospitals.
- You should regularly clean the surface and keep it disinfected to reduce TB bacterium survival.
Preventive therapy for high-risk individuals: For people at high risk of developing active TB, such as those with HIV infection or one with close contact with active TB cases, preventive therapy can be recommended. The most common form of preventive therapy is the administration of isoniazid (NH) for a specific duration. This helps reduce the risk of latent TB infection progressing to active TB.
By implementing these preventive strategies at individual and community levels, you can work towards a future free from the burden of tuberculosis. Remember, TB prevention is a collective responsibility, and every effort counts in creating a healthier, TB-free world. The treatment of TB can be expensive, so it’s better to have a health insurance policy in hand and secure your loved ones. While choosing medical insurance or policy, please ensure to check their features and coverage.