What is Tuberculosis ?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease commonly caused by the bacillus “Mycobacterium tuberculosis”. People also can get infected with other types of bacteria in the Mycobacterium group. In majority of cases, TB affects the lungs (Pulmonary TB). But it also can affect any part of the body (Extra pulmonary TB). Pulmonary TB can be sputum smear positive (which is infectious as sputum of the patient contains large amounts of tubercle bacilli) and sputum negative TB.
Why we are more concerned about TB ?
• TB is still considered as a priority public health problem in many countries of the World including Sri Lanka.
• TB is a disease associated with poverty.
• Around 1/3 of people in the world are infected with TB.
• In 2012, there were estimated 8.6 million new cases of TB in the world and over one million deaths occur due to TB in the world.
• Most of the people affected are in the economically active age group.
• TB is the second largest cause of deaths due to infectious diseases.
• TB accounts for ¼ of the deaths occurred among women.
• Around 10 million children have become orphaned as a result of parental deaths caused by TB in 2009