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Tuberculosis

23 March 2010

TB: get tested

This ancient disease is posing more of a global health emergency than ever – even though it is curable and cost-effective to treat.

This ancient disease is posing more of a global health emergency than ever – even though it is curable and cost-effective to treat.

TB is as old as humans themselves and has even been found in fragments of Egyptian mummies dating from 2400 BC. Even in 460 BC, Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, identified TB as a widespread and fatal disease. Hundreds of centuries later, TB is still spreading and killing over two million people every year around the world. In fact, TB kills more people than Aids, malaria and tropical diseases combined.

  • A cough which lasts longer than two weeks
  • Chest pains
  • Tiredness and weakness in the body
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Night sweats, even when it is cold
  • Coughing up blood.

  • Close contacts of TB patients, especially children under 5 years old
  • People with diseases like diabetes and HIV/Aids
  • People who consume excessive alcohol and drug addicts
  • People with poor nutrition
  • People suffering from stress
  • People living in poorly ventilated and over-crowded rooms

  • Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Eating balanced meals consisting of food like meat, fish, eggs, beans, amasi, brown bread, maize meal, vegetables and fruits.
  • Alcohol should be avoided because it lowers body resistance, and affects the treatment.
  • Smoking causes further damage to the lungs and can also cause heart disease and lung cancer.
  • Getting some sunshine, fresh air, exercise and living in a clean environment, including opening windows where possible in the home and workplace to ensure fresh air at all times

 

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