Five ways to raise your awareness this global TB Awareness Day: 24th March 2016
- TB is treatable and preventable, and a healthy immune system is the best line of defense. TB bacteria can’t survive in a body with a strong immune system. Symptoms include tiredness, weight loss, and persistent cough. A TB test is the best way to be sure.
- TB infection requires the inhalation of live TB bacteria. TB bacteria are released into the air by someone with active TB, who is coughing. Infection usually occurs after regular exposure and as a result of a compromised immune system; this can be caused by stressors like HIV infection, malnutrition, stress or lack of sleep.
- In South Africa, 73% of TB patients are HIV-positive. Co-infection with TB and HIV is very prevalent in Africa.
- TB is still a leading cause of death in SA, but this rate is dropping dramatically due to awareness and treatment. Most TB infections are pulmonary (lungs), but different types affect the bones, lymph nodes, and gastrointestinal system.
- TB infection is nothing to be ashamed of, TB survivors Desmond Tutu, Tina Turner and Tom Jones can testify.