18 March 2011

Tuberculosis – not just a poor man's disease

South Africa is ranked fifth out of 22 high burden countries that account for 80% of all new cases of tuberculosis that arise globally each year. This, combined with the fact that the TB vaccine is only 80% effective, means that South Africans should be aware of the risks and symptoms of the disease.

Addressing the disease in this country is problematic, because of the high incidence of HIV co-infections, with both diseases exacerbating the conditions caused by the other. In addition, many people's non-adherence to their treatment regimens mean that more strains of drug-resistant TB are developing.

  • Cough
  • Coughing up blood-tinged phlegm
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

  • Infants
  • The elderly
  • Those suffering from HIV/Aids
  • Those on immune-suppressing treatments like chemotherapy or rejection-suppressing medication after an organ transplantation


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