World Tuberculosis Day 2023: All You Need To Know

New Delhi: World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on March 24 to raise awareness about Tuberculosis, a serious respiratory infection. The day also highlights the progress being made in the battle against the disease and focus on the commitment to eradicate the infection.

The theme for 2023 World Tuberculosis Day is “Yes! We can end TB!”. The objective behind the theme is to inspire hope and encourage high-level leadership, faster adoption of new World Health Organisation recommendations, growth in investments, accelerated actions, adoption of innovations, and multisectoral collaboration to tackle tuberculosis.

History and significance:

The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. In the 1700s, TB was called “the white plague” due to the pale appearance of the patients. According to CDC, tuberculosis had different names in different civilizations. TB was called “phthisis” in ancient Greece, “tabes” in ancient Rome, and “schachepheth” in ancient Hebrew. TB was also known as “consumption” in the 1800s. During the Middle Ages, TB of the neck and lymph nodes was called “scofula.” Scofula was believed to be a different disease from TB in the lungs.

Symptoms:

Tuberculosis symptoms differ from person to person. Majorly people infected with TB do not show any symptoms. However, the most common symptoms are constant coughing for more than two to three weeks, coughing up blood, extreme tiredness of fatigue, lack of appetite and weight loss, and night sweats.

Tuberculosis can be diagnosed in other organs as well such as digestive system, the bladder, and reproductive system.

Tips to avoid TB:

Vaccination with BCG

Improving the air circulation in indoor spaces

Treating latent infection before it becomes active in selected cases

Maintaining good nutrition

Wearing mask when out and about

Visit a physician if one has symptoms

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