April 04, 2022
Tuberculosis is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide, as well as the deadliest infectious disease behind COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. This disease is caused by a bacterium, whose best-known name in the population is Koch’s bacillus, which most often compromises the lung, usually having a slow and progressive course. This time, Dr. Luis Ricardo Illescas, infectious disease doctor at Clinica Ricardo Palma will give us more information on the matter.
Form of transmission of TB
Tuberculosis is transmitted from person to person through infectious droplets that are found floating in the air expelled with the cough of those who have the disease and have not yet been treated. The person who inhales the droplets may or may not develop the disease depending on the condition of their immune system.
The most common symptoms are:
However, the symptoms can vary greatly depending on the organ affected. For example: a person with meningeal tuberculosis may have fever, headache, drowsiness; those with intestinal tuberculosis may have abdominal pain and diarrhea; if it attacks the kidneys they will have kidney failure, etc.
Tuberculosis currently requires treatment that is given for several months and includes several drugs in combination. Unfortunately, cases of tuberculosis patients resistant to regular treatment are on the rise. For them, treatments with more complex, longer and more uncomfortable schemes are required. If the disease progresses long before it is effectively treated, it can undoubtedly leave irreversible sequelae in the affected organ, especially the lung.
It is of the utmost importance to adequately comply with anti-tuberculous treatments, without interruptions and completing the entire prescribed regimen. Otherwise, cure will not be achieved and the bacillus will acquire drug resistance. If this happens, the affected person will become the focus of a more harmful and lethal disease because when coughing the droplets, they will carry an infectious bacterium that is more dangerous for the community.
Dr. Luis Ricardo Illescas
Infectious Disease at Clínica Ricardo Palma