World TB Day 2017

UNICEF and TB Alliance invite you to join us on World TB Day 2017 to participate in an interactive installation developed by the Louder than TB Campaign and listen to leaders in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), including people whose lives have been directly affected by TB.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those infected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. The historical term “consumption” came about due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.

Tuberculosis is spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze. People with latent TB do not spread the disease. Active infection occurs more often in people with HIV/AIDS and in those who smoke. Diagnosis of active TB is based on chest X-rays, as well as microscopic examination and culture of body fluids.

As a family disease, TB can swiftly affect all members of a household. If one person has TB, all members are at risk. Women, children, and people with HIV/AIDS are among those most at risk, as TB is transmitted through the air and thrives in weakened immune systems.

This will all too often draw an already vulnerable family deeper into hardship. Many families can’t afford treatment or even to lose out on days of work or school. And if untreated, each adult with active TB will infect between 10 and 15 people every year, negatively impacting the entire community. Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents.

Find more information here.


Published in GI-Mail 04/2017 (English + German edition). Sign up for GI-Mail here.  

Tip: More up to date educational events can be found online in the Education Database »medicine & health«.

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