Tuberculosis is not only preventable but curable. If only more was done to highlight the severity of the disease. Much like the COVID-19 virus, the TB virus spreads from person-to-person, through the air too.
Why then, is the same emphasis not placed on TB?
Affecting the lungs, the bacteria that causes TB is passed on by a person who has the disease in the same way as COVID-19, by coughing, sneezing, or through saliva. It is a respiratory illness that presents symptoms that are often mistaken for the flu.
This is one of the reasons proper treatment is only sought when the disease progresses to a more severe stage.
If detected early and treated, infected people can make a full recovery. TB is however fatal if left untreated or with the incorrect treatment methods. Two-thirds of those infected with TB die, according to the World Health Organisation.
Listen to Seun Maphoroma speak to Thabiso Sikwane:
Over-the-counter medication will not help
Denial is the number one cause for viruses spreading so rapidly. As was the case with the COVID-19 pandemic. People were skeptical about the viruses’ existence and as a result, self-diagnosed, medicated and, relied on Dr. Google.
Over-the-counter medication will not work in curing TB. In order to cure TB, the correct medication needs to be taken every day for six months. Failure to do so, or missing a day or two could result in the TB bacteria developing a resistance to the treatment.
You may develop MDR or XDR TB as a result.
What is MDR and XDR?
“Multi Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis” (MDR), is a specific form of drug-resistant strain of TB. Caused by the lack of compliance to treatment and incorrect use of tablets used to treat TB. The TB germ protects itself against TB drugs, which makes it difficult to kill the germ and different drugs need to be used. MDR TB is difficult to treat and may take 24-months to cure.
“Extensive Drug-Resistant TB” (XDR), is where the germ is resistant to drugs used to treat TB and some of the drugs used to treat MDR TB.
Both strains are curable if you take your medication correctly, for the full duration of the recovery period.
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) March 24, 2021