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March 24 is  World TB Day, a day dedicated to the treatment and eradication of tuberculosis around the globe.

This article is help raise awareness of tuberculosis (TB): what it is, how it can be contacted and the signs & symptoms.

World TB Day, 2012.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease caused by the tubercle bacillus, mycobacterium tuberculosis. It commonly affects the lungs but can affect bones and the spine.

The infection is transferred when a person inhales droplets from an infected person. This may be when the infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales. Each person can infect about 10-15 people every year if not treated.

At least 9:10 people infected with the tubercle bacillus do not develop symptoms or have positive chest x-rays. In the USA five percent of infected persons get sick within 12-24 months.
Once an individual inhales these droplets, one of four incidences can occur.

1. Their immune system can kill the bacteria, the person does not become infected, and the disease is not contagious

2. The bacteria can become dormant and never grow, the infection is not contagious.

3. The bacteria can become dormant for a period, and then begin to grow; symptoms appear later and the infection becomes contagious.

4. The bacteria will multiply rapidly and active TB symptoms appear almost immediately. The disease is contagious.

This is a statement made by WHO on TB:
"People living with HIV are about 37 times more likely to develop TB than people free of HIV infection.
TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV in Africa. Worldwide one in four TB deaths is HIV-related, without treatment, the vast majority of people living with HIV who are sick with TB will die within a few months."

About 2 million deaths by TB occur annually, most occurring in the developing countries. It is estimated than 1/3 of the world‘s population is infected with the tubercle bacillus, the largest number of cases occurring in South East Asia.

Signs and Symptoms:

• Contact with an infected person

• Cough with sputum more than two weeks

• Loss of weight

• Low grade fever

• Loss of appetite

•Chest pain

World Health Organization facts on tuberculosis.