(from Latin tuberculum, tuberculosis, English tuberculosis) is an infectious disease caused by tuberculosis microbacteria. Most often affects the lungs, but in some cases it can affect other parts of the body: the bone system, lymph nodes, spine, brain membranes. It is characterized by the formation of inflammatory changes, which have the appearance of small tubercles and over time tend to acquire a chronic course.


Tuberculosis is transmitted by airborne droplets from person to person with coughing, talking, kissing, sneezing because of what in olden days pulmonary tuberculosis was called consumption.

For a long time it can take a latent form without causing obvious symptoms. In an active form, there are symptoms such as fever, weight loss, night sweats, general weakness. Pulmonary form causes coughing, shortness of breath, pulmonary bleeding. Animals, although to a lesser extent, are also susceptible to tuberculosis bacteria.

Tuberculosis is a disease of disadvantaged people.

One of the most common myths is that Koch’s wand is selective in its preferences, only vagabonds, alcoholics, drug addicts are affected. But the practice of recent years proves the erroneousness of this statement: literally 10 to 15 years ago, tuberculosis could still be attributed to social diseases, recently he stepped over the indicated social restrictions and passed into the category of infectious diseases. According to statistics, the share of average citizens from quite well-off social strata among infected people is about 50%. The prevalence of this myth leads to the fact that many people do not want to recognize the possibility of infection, fearing to draw on themselves the oblique glances of others, and turn to doctors with an already active active form of the disease, thus contributing to its spread.

Prisons contribute to the spread of tuberculosis.

This statement is not without foundation: the incidence rate in prisons is really 7 to 8 times higher than behind their walls. But about a third of all cases of infection are detected in the first days of the arrest in pre-trial detention cells – people are in prison, already infected.

Tuberculosis is betrayed from person to person as easily as the flu.

This is not true. The onset of the disease is possible only in case of prolonged contact with a bacteriovirus (carrier of the active form of the disease) in an enclosed space: a hospital ward, an apartment, a prison cell. The probability of catching tuberculosis in a short-term single contact on the bus or, for example, standing in line for food is extremely small. Observance of necessary precautions makes contact with a person who is sick with tuberculosis practically safe.

Antibiotics can completely cure tuberculosis.

Antibiotics have been used to treat tuberculosis since 1944, when streptomycin was first tested on patients infected with Koch’s wand. This positive result led to the fact that antibiotics were actively used to fight tuberculosis. The virus, in turn, did not remain in debt and reacted to such treatment with an active mutation. In recent years, doctors have recorded more bactericidal strains resistant to individual anti-tuberculosis antibiotics. The so-called multidrug-resistant, drug-resistant form of tuberculosis is found in about 15% of infected people. About 5% of these patients do not respond to antibiotics in general, the treatment of the rest is ineffective and costly.

Tuberculosis can not be treated at all.

So people who have a disease is easy and asymptomatic. According to statistics, 21% of patients are inclined not to trust doctors and ignore the prescribed treatment.There are also those who are trying to benefit from the current situation – according to the existing legislation a person who suffers from an open form of tuberculosis within six months has the right to claim a separate housing. At the same time, this negligent attitude towards one’s own health can lead to the fact that the disease will develop into a multidrug-resistant form, even if initially it was not so and it would be impossible to help such a person.

Traditional medicine can cure tuberculosis.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is no adequate alternative to drug treatment at the moment. All sorts of health-improving and health-supporting procedures will undoubtedly be superfluous, but a complete cure is possible only if all medical recommendations are observed.

A good fluorogram is a guarantee of the absence of tuberculosis.

This is not always true. According to the results of a study by the World Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, 24% of the participating physicians could not recognize tuberculosis on the fluorougram given to them, 5% did not determine its contagious form, and 17% diagnosed tuberculosis in healthy people. Exact diagnosis is possible only with the application of a patient’s smear microscopy, which allows to determine the presence of microbacteria both at the initial stage of infection and in the active form of the disease.

Responsibility for the spread of tuberculosis lies on the shoulders of doctors.

In fact, in this case, the position of the patient himself, his degree of consciousness and responsibility to the society is much more important. Not all people fully realize how dangerous the infection is with tuberculosis and what this is fraught with for the patient and his environment. This leads to non-compliance with the prescribed regime, and sometimes even a complete refusal of treatment. According to statistics in 2006, only 24% of patients underwent the necessary treatment in full.

A patient has the right to decide whether to be treated or not.

Undoubtedly, every person has freedom of choice and society must reckon with his decision. But when it comes to such a dangerous infectious disease as tuberculosis, the interests of not only the patient himself but also the people around him are affected. If the patient for any reason refuses treatment, he should at least be isolated. In some countries, in accordance with the law on the epidemiological safety of the population, patients are responsible for refusing treatment, in others the legislation stipulates compulsory hospitalization.

кто Anyone can become tuberculosis, but not me.

We all believe that tuberculosis is a disease of homeless people and prisoners that we will never be touched. But often we live next to sick people, without even knowing about their disease. Yes, often the patients themselves do not know that they are infected. Most often, infection with the Koch’s wand occurs in people with a weakened immune system or who have had an infectious disease. Every one of us is at risk.

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