why TB an ancient disease has become today's problem

Why An Ancient Disease Has Become Today’s Problem- Tuberculosis

why TB an ancient disease has become today's problem


The german physician Robert Koch first identified the bacteria which causes tuberculosis in the year 1882, before this deadly disease of the chest was commonly known as white plague or consumption. The doctors could provide them few measures beyond keeping them nourished and a clean environment after Koch found the disease’s cause. In the mid-1940s, which almost another half-century away, an effective antibiotic was discovered.

Why TB an ancient disease has become today's problem

Today, as the tuberculosis is spreading throughout the world, the resistant medication for the disease if yet to be discovered. Such hard-to-cure strains are gaining a foothold in the countries like South Africa and Russia while they’re very rare in the United States.

Since 1963, the first time the federal public health officials has ordered a quarantine for a 31-year old lawyer from Atlanta, who has been diagnosed with the drug-resistant TB. The patient is currently undergoing the treatment at the National Jewish Medical Research Center in Denver.

Past Of The Tuberculosis:

Tuberculosis is undeniably an ancient disease, it has been in around since at least the 3150 BC. Some of the scientists advocate that tuberculosis has been living with the human for more than 3 million years. Being with human species for so many years, the disease is still a worry in the present. It remains to spread around the world. The World Health Organization says that one person out of three is infected with tuberculosis in the world. But 90% of the people who are infected with the germs will never develop the disease. The bacteria can be generally held in check by the immune system. If a person’s immune system is compromised due to HIV, other illnesses or even aging than the infection is more likely to be developed into a disease.

How Tuberculosis Is Spread:

The people having tuberculosis can be spreading the bacteria through sneezing, coughing or even talking. According to Dr. Martin Cetron, the infections normally happens after a prolonged exposure only. He Added, “ tuberculosis can be spread through a prolonged contact, it cannot be transmitted by short or casual contact”. The patients who get infected with germs which develop into the disease can be only 10%.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis is not more epidemic than other forms of the TB. But repeatedly getting exposure to the places where the large concentration of the people are infected with the disease such as prisons, hospitals, and overcrowded houses etc can increase the chances of getting infected. An immune system which is weakened by a disease or due to certain types of medications can also increase the risk of developing full-blown tuberculosis in a person.

why TB an ancient disease has become today's problem

How Widespread Is It Globally?

The World Health Organization estimated about 8.8 million cases worldwide and out which 1.6 million deaths happened in the year 2005. The patients with HIV of those deaths were about 200,000. The majority of these cases are from Asia and sub-Saharan Africa which is about 7.4 million. In the United States, there were about 352,000 cases in the year 2005 and 49,000 deaths of these cases.

Why TB still a problem when the treatments exist?

Getting access to diagnosis and treatments is still an ongoing obstacle in the poorer countries. The widespread of the HIV virus also complicates the attempts to eliminate tuberculosis. The AIDs virus attacks the immune system which increases the likelihood that the infection will become a full blown disease. Since 1990, HIV is considered as the single most important factor which increases tuberculosis in Africa.

The Symptoms of tuberculosis Infection

A persistent cough- lots of phlegm and even sometimes containing blood.

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating, specifically at night
  • Chest pain when you breathe in
  • In case you have tuberculosis in other parts of your body, then you may also have some other symptoms like swollen glands in the neck, headache, or pain in your joints.

why TB an ancient disease has become today's problem


Diagnosing and treating tuberculosis still constitutes public health and infection- control challenges. The individual patients with the disease also present their own set of challenges like financial, social, and cultural issues. To tackle these challenges, the hospitals and local health departments should work together. The hospitals, physicians, nurses, families, patients, and the public health providers by working together can secure effective care for the patients and can protect the community.

Why TB an ancient disease has become today's problem

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *