Tuberculosis, a Major Threat to Public Health

Nobody is immune, tuberculosis can affect any person, regardless of their background, social or economic status, education level, race, gender, etc .. At European level, every hour are diagnosed 49 new cases of TB, 7 people passing away every hour due to this disease. That's why we try to improve disease control, particularly by limiting the spread of infection and prevention of TB cases. Progress of some EU Member States are impressive in terms of limiting and eliminating tuberculosis (below 1 in 1 million residents), while other countries of the continent continues to face a high rate of cases of TB.

What is tuberculosis? Tuberculosis is a contagious infectious disease caused by Koch bacillus, named after the scientist who discovered it. The infection is transmitted from one person by air through droplets of sputum disposed into the environment through coughing, sneezing, talking loudly, singing, etc. A person can be infected but does not mean will get sick of tuberculosis. Infected people do not have any signs or symptoms that suggest disease. But when the body's immune system is no longer effective, microbes begin to multiply and cause damage to lung tissue, passing in the form of tuberculosis infection or active tuberculosis disease. It is generally recognized that a person with active tuberculosis, in the absence of effective treatment, may infect approximately 10-15 persons per year. Among patients with tuberculosis, 80% are aged between 15 and 45 years. Tuberculosis is not transmitted through the handshake, using the same cups and plates, toilets.

Signs and symptoms, cough with expectoration, weight loss, feverishness, night sweats. All these symptoms slowly over several months. The diagnosis is made by highlighting the Koch bacillus in sputum samples of virus and lesions in the lung. Once diagnosed, TB requires treatment with a combination of at least 4 types of drugs taken daily for 2 months, then 2 kinds of medicines to be taken 3 times per week for 4 months yet. Discontinuation, or missing doses can lead to emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which require more expensive treatment later and longer. After treatment, forms of MDR-TB have lower chances of cure, more than 60%, even when properly administrated treatment.

25% of cases of tuberculosis in prisons. According to WHO statistics, the prison system recorded a significantly higher incidence of cases of illness than the general population. There are several factors favoring this disease in prisons, namely: overcrowding, poor ventilation, late diagnosis, etc.