While we have virtually eradicated diseases like polio and tetanus with vaccines, Tuberculosis is an illness that still is a problem in today’s world. Tuberculosis is a preventable. disease. But, it is in the top ten. causes of death worldwide. Myths have swirled about the illness for years now.
Below is a list of facts to keep in mind and the myths that you should ignore.
MYTH: Everyone with tuberculosis is contagious.
When it comes to tuberculosis in the throat and the lungs, in that case, yes, it is contagious. But, if the disease has settled in other areas of the body such as the kidneys, spine, then it is not contagious. You cannot contract tuberculosis from hugging, shaking hands, touching a toilet someone with tuberculosis has been on, or touching their bed sheets.
FACT: It can happen to anyone.
Many people believe that tuberculosis can only occur in lower socioeconomic areas. While that may put them at a higher risk, tuberculosis can infect anyone, from anywhere, at any time. There are certain risk factors that can put you at risk for contracting tuberculosis, such as a weakened immune system that cannot fight off the illness quite as well.
MYTH: Tuberculosis cannot be cured.
This is simply put, not true. Tuberculosis can nearly always be cured by taking a combination of antibiotics. The patient will have to take these medications for approximately six to nine months. Treatment depends on whether or not you have active TB or latent TB. Talking to your healthcare provider is the best way to find this out.
FACT: Tuberculosis is not hereditary.
Some may think that the disease itself can be passed down the family tree. This is because those who were around an infected person that was coughing into the air, thus passing it on to the family members around them. Tuberculosis is not hereditary in the least.
MYTH: If no symptoms are present, then there is no tuberculosis infection.
In reality, symptoms of tuberculosis can lie dormant, sometimes for years. If it is dormant, the person with it is not contagious. Latent tuberculosis can be inside someone’s system for years and never have any effect on them. But, if they have a weak immune system, latent tuberculosis could turn into an active infection at any time.
Tuberculosis is an illness that we are still fighting today. But, with proper prevention measures and medication that we have to treat it, many can still live a full life after having tuberculosis.