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World TB Day - 24th March,2010

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World TB, or Tuberculosis, Day is celebrated every year on 24th March to raise awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease. One-third of the world's population is currently infected with TB. Tuberculosis, malaria, & human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) together kill more than 5 million people annually.
The annual event on 24 March marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch detected the cause of tuberculosis, i.e., the bacterium known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. So,
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs but that can attack other parts of the body.
What causes tuberculosis?
The bacterium known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.
How it is spread?

TB is spread through the air when a person with tuberculosis disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
TB in the lungs or throat can be infectious, means that the bacteria can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of tuberculosis depend on where in the body the tuberculosis bacteria are growing. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs, which causes
  • a bad cough that lasts longer than 2 weeks
  • pain in the chest
  • coughing up blood or sputum 
Other symptoms of tuberculosis disease are
  • weakness or fatigue
  • weight loss
  • no appetite
  • chills
  • fever
  • sweating at night.
How it is diagnosed?
It is diagnosed by a positive tuberculin skin test, abnormal chest x-ray or positive sputum smear/culture.
How it is treated?
TB disease can be cured successfully with anti-TB drugs, which are usually prescribed for 8-9 months.
How it can be prevented & what role you can play?
By helping the patients with TB to take the anti-TB drugs exactly as prescribed, so that they don’t miss a single dose.
By educating the community about TB.
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