Tuberculosis is an equalizer. Just like HIV and all the other big scary diseases. During our community medicine classes at Calcutta Medical college, one sir famously said the man driving your AC car is coughing out blood in his handkerchief on the way to your child’s school.
You learn later he has Koch’s disease(Tuberculosis).
What do you do?
So many times in buses trains crowded market place in centrally air-conditioned places you are exposed. You never know. As a doctor, we ask for family history to rule out exposure.
Because Pulmonary Koch’s if sputum positive is highly transmittable. But discrimination will just give the diseases deeper roots.
What should you do?
World TB day is on 24th March.#WorldTBday is a fresh chance of spreading awareness about a treatable disease.his annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).
The theme of World TB Day 2019 is “It’s TIME” CDC and its partners are working together to eliminate this deadly disease.
What are the common symptoms of TB?
- Fever more than two weeks
- Cough more than two weeks
- Chest pain
- Pain on deep inspiration.
- Blood mixed sputum
- Unexplained sudden weight loss
- Any abnormality in chest Xray
Shocking Tuberculosis stats(Source WHO)
- 1.6 million people die of TB every year.
- 4 out of 10 people are undiagnosed
- It is the top infectious killer disease in the world.
- It kills 4000 people every day worldwide.
- Leading cause of death among HIV infected in the world.
- In India estimated incidence of 28 lakh per year.(Global TB report 2017)
- The incidence of HIV and TB in India 87,000
Chest Xray is not conclusive but additive.
In a country like India, we have all been exposed to the bacteria. The statistics are scary.
BCG at birth protects against miliary Tuberculosis and some protection against meningeal TB.
Transmission of Tuberculosis
Spreads by sneezing, coughing, respiratory droplets. It’s a community disease and needs our support and care.
The Gohn’s foci stay and have a tendency to flare up when your immunity is low, stress and cortisol floods your body.
Lack of awareness is another big problem. Not getting tested in time is scary. Any symptom beyond two weeks needs expert consultation and tests. Tuberculosis can affect any part of your body. Some more dangerous than others.
Tubercular can cause cervical lymphadenitis. It is a type of swellings in the neck not going down with antibiotics and no obvious focus in head neck oral cavity. If not associated with lung infection it may or may not be contagious.
There are excellent drugs to fight TB. You can get them free at Government Hospitals, Medical Colleges, DOTS centers.Drugs can have side effects so get help early.
What makes Tuberculosis worse?
- HIV(Human immunodeficiency virus), coexistent Diabetes and immunity lowering conditions make it a problem.
- Inconsistent medication, not completing treatment makes you at risk and your family too.
- MDR(Multi-drug resistant) TB is a big problem. Incomplete treatment is a factor behind it,
Prevention against Diabetes mellitus to prevent TB bacteria from becoming super powerful
HIV is another condition which prevents TB destruction. In these cases, the classic Tuberculin test is a false negative.
What should you do if you suspect you have TB?
- Get tested quickly
- Take your medicines
- Take precautions not to spread the disease in case of pulmonary TB. Using face masks protects you from other infections (your immunity is lowered)and also protects your loved ones.
- Your ability to fight the disease may be more than an infant or an elderly person.
- After starting drugs, a repeat test of sputum is done at two months(end of intensive phase) to check status. Sputum positive or negative at this stage will decide the next step. Another sputum test is done at the completion of treatment.
Microbiological confirmation on sputum: All patients who have presumptive TB and who are capable of producing sputum, should undergo a sputum test for rapid microbiological diagnosis of TB.
Chest X-ray as a screening tool: Where available chest X-ray should be used as a screening tool.
Tuberculin skin test: Used as a complementary test along with history, symptoms, signs and radiology.
Cartridge-Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CB NAAT): The CB NAAT knew as the GeneXpert, is the preferred first diagnostic test in children and people with TB and HIV co-infection.
Serological tests for TB are banned and are not recommended for diagnosing TB.
Diagnosis of pulmonary TBUnder (RNTCP) in India
- Involves collection of at least 2 sputum samples (spot & early morning).
- Followed by sputum smear microscopy (both conventional Ziehl-Neelson staining/fluorescent staining)
- AFB culture
- Conventional PCR based line probe assay (LPA for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex)
- Real-time PCR based CB-NAAT.
Tuberculosis Treatment in India RNTCP new guidelines(for Healthcare professionals)(Source)
There are significant changes in the drug regimen in the new guidelines
The principle of treatment shifted towards daily regimen with admin. of daily fixed-dose combination of first-line ATD as per appropriate weight bands
For new TB cases
• Treatment in IP(Intensive phase )will consist of 8 weeks of INH, Rifampicin, Pyrazinamide, and Ethambutol in daily dosages as per four weight bands categories
• There will be no need for an extension of IP
• Only Pyrazinamide will be stopped in CP while the other three drugs will be continued for another 16 weeks as daily dosages.
For previously treated cases
• IP will be of 12 weeks, where injection Streptomycin will be stopped after 8 weeks and the remaining four drugs in daily dosages as per weight band for another 4 weeks
• No need for an extension of IP
• At the start of CP, Pyrazinamide will be stopped while the rest of the drugs will be continued for another 20 weeks as daily dosages.
Management of extra-pulmonary TB (new guidelines)
The CP in both new and previously treated cases may be extended 3–6 months in certain TB such as CNS, skeletal, disseminated TB. This will be based on the clinical decision of the treating physician’s. Extension beyond 3 months will only be on the recommendation of experts of the concerned field.
Listen to the newest episode of my podcast, Healthwealthbridge by Dr.Amrita: Tuberculosis: What you must know to stay safe #WorldTBday
Be aware. Get tested. Get treated on time. It is very important to complete treatment otherwise you have a real risk of suffering a relapse. Multidrug-resistant TB needs awareness. Tuberculosis is curable. It’s time to end the stigma.#Endtb
— DrAmrita Basu Misra (@misra_amrita) March 24, 2019
Disclaimer: I am a qualified medical practitioner sharing healthcare information. But all healthcare information is rapidly evolving and updates if delayed, this website or the author is in no way responsible. Kindly take all healthcare decision after consulting your own doctor.