What: World TB Day
When: 24th March 2012
Why: Tuberculosis, or TB, is a contagious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and mainly affects the lungs. The disease is easily transmitted via droplets from the throat and lungs of people who have the active respiratory infection. In healthy people the bacteria are “walled off” by the immune system and often cause no symptoms. The symptoms of active TB include, cough, haemoptysis (blood in sputum), weight loss, night sweats, chest pains and weakness. Tuberculosis is treatable with a strict six-month drug regime.
Due to mismanagement of the drug treatment of TB, bacteria that cause TB are increasingly developing drug resistance. Each year more and more cases of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases are being reported.
Organisations worldwide are developing strategies to reduce the global burden of TB, particularly by improving access to health services, diagnosis and compliance with antibiotic treatment.