TB Awareness Day this month

2016-03-23 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

PHOTO: supplied

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A CURABLE and preventable disease is one of the leading causes of death in the country.

One of the main reasons people die from tuberculosis (TB) is them living with the disease, undiagnosed or being diagnosed too late.

Once people are more informed about TB, a lot of lives can be saved. Understanding and identifying the symptoms of the disease is also key to early diagnosis. About 30% of people do not know they have TB, which results in their death.

Fifty percent of autopsies conducted in Edendale Hospital are TB-related.

Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest director Michael Deegan said that TB prevention­ and treatment remains one of their main priorities this year and they will be supporting­ the Red Cross, which works with TB patients.

About 70 organisations have signed the Stop TB pledge launched via the Community Chest that supports about 140 000 people.

South Africa is said to be one of the countries with the highest burden of TB in the world, and during March, the public is asked to seek medical attention and urge those diagnosed with the illness to take their medication.

TB facts from ER24:

• TB, an infectious disease that is spread through the air, is caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis. Respiratory spread occurs when a person who has active tuberculosis coughs, sneezes or spits.

• TB usually affects the lungs, however, it can also affect other parts of the body, including the brain and kidneys.

• Symptoms include prolonged cough, fever, night sweats, weight and appetite loss, tiredness, weakness, chest pain and coughing up blood.

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