Articles / Health / Health / 130 Years of the Discovery of the Tuberculosis
Saturday, March 24, 2012
130 Years of the Discovery of the Tuberculosis
By Iris Armas Padrino
Cuba will carry out different promotion and education actions across the island during the commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day with the objective of strengthening community participation and fight the ailment that affects a third of the world´s population.
The day was installed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 24th, taking into account that day in 1882, 130 years ago when German
doctor Robert Koch announced the discovery of the agent that causes the disease, the Mycrobacterium tuberculosis.
The discovery of Dr. Koch, awarded in 1905 by the Nobel Medicine Prize, allowed improving the diagnosis techniques through the identification of the germ in the corporal excretion, especially when one spits.
Created in the 1960´s, the National Program in the Fight against Tuberculosis, Cuba was among the nations with the lowest rate in the Americas with 7 cases per every one 100 thousand inhabitants.
According to the WHO, Cuba is placed among the nations that reach the total eradication of tuberculosis as a health problem.
This is due to the joint work in primary health aimed at eliminating the recurring ailment whose vulnerable groups are smokers, alcoholics, diabetics, infected by HIV and senior citizens among others.
Dr. Ana Maria Chalgub, specialist of the National Center in Health Promotion and Education told AIN News Agency, that in case someone is infected, an early diagnosis and early treatment which is carried out during a 6 month period and in an out patient method.
Among the most frequent symptoms is cough with phlegm for over 15 days, fever in the afternoons, night sweating, weakness, weight and appetite lose among others.
The infection is transmitted by people that have the ailment, those that cough, sneeze, speak, laugh, sing or spits, expels tuberculosis germs into the air, that is why it is important to see a doctor if symptoms exists because it is a preventable and curable disease.
Similar to a common cold, it generally affects the lungs and endangers other parts of the body like the brain, kidneys or spine, warns Dr. Chalgub.
Among the infectious diseases, TB continues to be the second cause of death in adults worldwide with over 2 million victims each year.
The island has a vaccination that protects against all serious forms of the disease in children less than two years of age but does not offer immunity for life and that is why experts say that prevention is the best antidote to fight the disease.
¨We must end with tuberculosis in our generation¨, is the slogan this year whose main activity will be held on March 24th in the central province of Villa Clara.
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