Each year, 1.8 million people die from tuberculosis. The disease is deadly in developing countries, where almost every case of this disease ends in a fatality. This is due to unfavorable political and economic conditions, the HIV pandemic, as well as the presence of mycobacteria resistant to tuberculosis drugs.
Primary tuberculosis most often develops in children. The patient has never had contact with the tuberculosis bacterium. It enters the body through airborne transmission.
The source of infection is a sick person who releases mycobacteria when breathing, talking, and especially when coughing. The development of the disease depends on the amount of mycobacteria that enter the lungs, their infectivity (virulence), and the effectiveness of the immune system.
High-risk groups for developing tuberculosis include:
In a person with latent infection, symptoms may not appear, and the infection can be detected through testing. Testing should be requested in the following situations:
However, they cannot indicate whether tuberculosis is active or latent. To diagnose active tuberculosis, a doctor may recommend sputum analysis and a chest X-ray. However, it is important to remember that anyone with tuberculosis needs treatment, whether the infection is active or latent.
Effective tuberculosis treatment can be obtained in the best clinics in Switzerland. You may be wondering, "which doctor treats tuberculosis?" The answer is simple. A therapist and pulmonologist can identify the site of infection and determine the patient's condition, but a phthisiatrician specializes in tuberculosis treatment.
Treatment in Switzerland is carried out using modern methods and the latest drugs. Tuberculosis is treated with antibiotics or anti-tuberculosis drugs, which are combined in different ways to prevent the development of resistance. Tuberculosis treatment lasts for at least 6 months, but usually much longer because the goal is to reduce the number of bacteria in the patient's body.
The most reliable tuberculosis prevention is vaccination. It is essential to observe basic hygiene habits such as frequent handwashing, avoiding crowded places, and strengthening the immune system.
Vaccination against tuberculosis (BCG) is mandatory for newborns.
It is administered within the first 24 hours after birth (injection in the left arm).
BCG vaccination has been used since the 1950s. Its aim is to reduce the number of severe tuberculosis cases.
The vaccine is not administered to premature babies with a body weight of less than 2000 grams or in situations where the mother of the child has tuberculosis (the newborn in this case requires special treatment).
Symptoms and Types of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis primarily affects the lungs, where it is called pulmonary tuberculosis. It can affect any part of the body, including bones, brain, uterus, skin, lymph nodes, etc., or it can spread widely to other organs, as seen in miliary tuberculosis and disseminated tuberculosis.