Can Tuberculosis Be Cured?

Tuberculosisw is a disease that affects the lungs which is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is not only a deadly disease but it’s still one of the diseases that is still a major problem in many parts of the world especially the developing countries, statistics have shown that every year tuberculosis kill more people than any other disease on earth including HIV/AIDS and Malaria.
Types of Tuberculosis
Having tuberculosis can vary in a lot of people and contracting tuberculosis does not immediately mean you will fall sick or die. These are the two common type of tuberculosis:

1. Latent Tuberculosis

Your body contains bacteria, but your immune system prevents them from spreading. You’re not contagious and don’t have any symptoms. However, the virus is still alive and could resurface at any time. If you’re at high risk for reactivation, such as if you have HIV, have had an infection in the last two years, have an abnormal chest X-ray, or have a weakened immune system, your doctor will prescribe drugs to prevent active TB.

2. Active Tuberculosis

Active tuberculosis. Germs grow and cause illness. You have the ability to infect people. In adults, 90% of active cases are caused by a latent TB infection.

In 2020, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) worldwide. 5.6 million men, 3.3 million women and 1.1 million children and a total of 1.5 million died from Tuberculosis. Eight countries account for 86 percent of the Tuberculosis in the world, with India leading the count, followed by China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.

What are the symptoms of tuberculosis?

The following are the symptoms associated with Tuberculosis
1. Coughing(sometimes in some people blood-tinged)- when you are constantly coughing for three weeks or more and when someone coughs there is blood or mucus
2. Fatigue
3. Chest pain or having pain when breathing
4. Fever
5. Night Sweats
6. Loss of Appetite

Now that we all have a bit of information on tuberculosis let’s talk about the main topic.

Can Tuberculosis be cured?

Most times this question has been debated by people and although it has been established that Tuberculosis can be cured it has been noted that the treatment may be more expensive for household incomes or low income earners in most of the developing countries that make up the major part of the population affected by Tuberculosis. Treatment has saved 66 million people between 2000 and 2020 from Tuberculosis.

However, by 2022, US$ 13 billion is needed annually for TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care to achieve the global target agreed at the UN high level-meeting on TB in 2018.

Methods of treating Tuberculosis

1. Active, drug-susceptible TB disease is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer. Without such support, treatment adherence is more difficult.
2. If you have latent tuberculosis, you might need to take only one or two types of TB drugs. Active tuberculosis, particularly if it’s a drug-resistant strain, will require several drugs at once. The most common medications used to treat tuberculosis include:
* Isoniazid
* Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
* Ethambutol (Myambutol)
* Pyrazinamide

Can Antibiotics be used in treating Tuberculosis?
A lot of information and research have proved antibiotics to be one of the treatment of Tuberculosis but antibiotics are only used in the treatment of Drug-Resistant.

If you have drug-resistant tuberculosis, you’ll need to take a combination of fluoroquinolone antibiotics and injectable drugs like amikacin or capreomycin (Capastat) for 20 to 30 months. Some strains of tuberculosis are becoming resistant to these drugs as well.

To combat drug resistance, other medications may be added to therapy, such as:

Bedaquiline (Sirturo)
Linezolid (Zyvox)

Why completing treatment is very important.

You won’t be contagious after a few weeks, and you could feel better. Do not stop taking your TB medications; you must complete the entire course of treatment and take the medications exactly as your doctor prescribes.

Stopping treatment too soon or skipping doses may cause bacteria to become resistant to the medications, resulting in TB that is far more harmful and difficult to cure.

Directly observed therapy (DOT) is a program that can help people stay to their treatment plans. You are given your medication by a health care worker so that you do not have to remember to take it on your own.

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