Prevention Of Tuberculosis
Prevention of tuberculosis is very important as this disease causes lots of disorders in the body. Millions of people die because of this disease every year and the trend is still continuing.
Though tuberculosis is very common in developing countries, people living in developed countries are not aloof from it. When a person travels to a country where tuberculosis is quite rampant, there are good chances of getting the infection. In such cases, a person must take precautions so that he does not catch Mycobacterium tuberculosis. For example, he can wear a mask whenever he visits a crowded place.
Treatment of tuberculosis is possible and it aims at preventing disease from spreading in the body. Through treatment, walled up germs can be killed. Though these germs occur in an inactive state in the body, they can break out any time in coming years and can become active.
Weakened immune system helps these germs in breaking out in the body. If a person has become infected but has not shown any symptoms of tuberculosis, he must get proper treatment for preventing the sickness. Medication that is given by the health care providers generally to the infected persons is Isoniazid. It has to be taken daily and is an inexpensive, easily available medicine. In short form it is called as INH.
Normally, INH is taken for a period up to one year and periodic checkups are made during this period to ensure that no undesirable side effects are being caused due to the drug. In some cases, due to allergic responses etc, alternative treatment can be given. This treatment has also been found effective in stopping the spread of the disease in large populations.
Another way of preventing the disease is through vaccination. Tuberculosis vaccination is called as BCG or Bacille Calmette Guerin vaccine. It is effective in preventing the spread of tuberculosis and tuberculosis meningitis in children. However, this vaccine does not provide 100% protection against pulmonary tuberculosis.
Thus, a person may result positive for the skin test for tuberculosis after taking this vaccine. For confirmation, QuantiFERON-TB Gold test can be done. BCG vaccine is generally recommended in those countries where new infection rate is over 1% in a year. This is the reason why in United States, BCG vaccine is not recommended.