WORLD TUBERCULOSIS DAY

March 24 is World Tuberculosis Day

World TB Day: Tuberculosis in Alberta

 

March 24th is World TB Day: a day to raise awareness about TB and the efforts to eliminate the disease. Be aware of the symptoms and talk to your health care professional if you or someone you know has symptoms of TB.

 

Although tuberculosis (TB) is not as common as it once was in Alberta, delays in finding and treating TB increase its ability to spread. Children are especially vulnerable to seious, life threatening forms of TB.

 

What is TB?

TB is caused by bacteria (germs) and is spread when a person with TB disease of the lungs coughs the germs into the air. People sharing that air may breathe in the germs and become infected with TB. Once in the body, germs may remain as TB infection or progress to TB Disease. During TB infection, germs are ‘asleep,’ unable to damage the body and spread to others.

 

If the infection progresses to TB disease, the germs will ‘wake up’ causing damage to the body and can spread to others (if in the lungs). The time frame for progression from infection to disease can take months or years. About 10% of people who acquire TB infection will progress to disease. Health conditions that weaken the immune system, such as other illnesses, increase this risk.

 

What are the symptoms of TB disease?

Symptoms include:

·         Cough for more than 3 weeks that doesn’t get better

·         Extreme tiredness

·         Fever

·         No appetite

·         Weight loss

·         Sweating at night

People with TB disease can have one or more of these symptoms.

 

TB is curable and preventable.

 

You can protect yourself, your family and your community by knowing the signs of TB disease

Together, we can work to stop TB

 

To learn more about TB, please visit:

Health Canada's Tuberculosis page (www. Healthcanada.gc.ca/tuberculosis) or the Healthy Canadians website (www.healthy Canadians.gc.ca/tuberculosis).

 

Submitted by Amber Medynski

Communications and Public Affairs Branch  Health Canada Edmonton, Alberta