World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2020: History, Significance and Facts

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day falls on 24 March every year to educate people about the disease TB and its consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to take efforts to end the TB epidemic globally. What is TB, why is this day observed on 24 March, what is the theme of 2020? Let us find out!
Created On: Mar 24, 2020 10:20 IST
Modified On: Mar 24, 2020 10:20 IST
World TB Day
World TB Day

According to WHO, in 2018, around 10,000,000 people fell ill with TB and 1,500,000 died of TB. People that fell ill with drug-resistant TB in 2018 are 484,000.

Therefore, World TB Day is to educate people around the world about the disease TB and its impact. Do you know that in the United States up to 13 million people have latent TB infection, and without treatment, they are at risk for developing TB disease in the future?

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2020: Theme

The theme of World TB Day 2020 is "It's TIME". It is time to test and treat latent TB infection. It's time to educate and strengthen people regarding TB and spread awareness among health care providers. As it is said that for latent TB infection treatment is necessary to control and eliminate it. Also, it is time to speak up. CDC's TB Personal Stories series tell the experiences of people diagnosed with the latent TB infection and TB disease. CDC and several other organisations are working towards it.

Further, the theme focuses that it’s time to end the stigma that is the stigma associated with TB disease may also place certain populations at higher risk. Stigma may make people take medical care or follow-up care for TB. TB can get anyone and TB people are found in every state, workplace, etc.

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World Tuberculosis (TB) Day: History

On this day in 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of a bacterium that causes TB and his discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. We can't ignore that TB remains the world's deadliest infectious killer. According to WHO, over 4000 people lose their lives due to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease? Since 2000, global efforts regarding TB saved an estimated 58 million lives around the world. Heads of State for the first time in 2018 came together to accelerate the response of TB in countries to reach targets and made commitments to end TB in the UN High-Level Meeting in September 2018.

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

Tuberculosis is also known as TB and is caused by bacteria namely Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Most often it affects the lungs. It is a curable and preventable disease. TB spread from people to people through the air. When people suffering from TB cough, sneeze or split, then germs come into the air. If a person inhales a few of these germs he or she becomes infected.

Let us tell you that about one-third of the population of the world has latent TB that is people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not yet ill with the disease and cannot transmit it. One more thing for consideration is that it is said people infected with TB bacteria have a lifetime risk of falling ill with TB of 10%. Those people are at higher risk those have comprised immune systems including people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes or people who use tobacco or have a much higher risk of falling ill.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis

Basically TB bacteria grow in the lungs and can cause symptoms like:

- A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer

- Pain in the chest

- Coughing up blood or sputum that is mucus from deep inside the lungs.

- Weakness or fatigue

- Weight loss

- No appetite

- Chills

- Fever

- Sweating at night, etc.

With the help of medicine, TB disease can be treated and cured. It is necessary that TB patient should take drugs timely and finish the medicine as prescribed. If they stop taking the drugs too soon and don’t complete the course of the medicine then they can become sick again. If they don't take drugs correctly, then the bacteria of TB that are still alive may become resistant to those drugs.

Therefore, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24 March annually to raise awareness about the disease TB, how it can be spread, its treatment, symptoms, how it paves an impact on health, society and economy.

Source: who, cdc

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