Tuberculosis Prevention Essay Research Paper Tuberculosis PreventionTuberculosis

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Tuberculosis Prevention Essay, Research Paper Tuberculosis Prevention Tuberculosis is becoming a world-wide problem. Three million people die of TB each year, and over 22,000 cases are reported each year in the United States. There are also an estimated 10 to 15 million people in the U.S. who are infected with the TB germs with potential to develop TB disease in the future (Huglas, February 1998). The modern era of tuberculosis began in the mid 1980s. At that time it was realized that tuberculosis had not only ceased to decline in many developed countries, notably the U.S.A., but was actually increasing. It is estimated that deaths from tuberculosis will increase from 3 million a year currently to 5 million by the year 2050 (Tilson, 1998). Tuberculosis spreads through

coughing and sneezing and it is highly contagious. Someone in the world is newly infected with TB each second. One-third of the world s population is now infected with TB bacilli (World Health Organization). There is virtually nothing anyone can do to protect himself or himself from TB. You could get into a taxicab and if somebody who was there three hours before had been coughing, those particles will remain suspended in the air for a few hours. Although effective and affordable treatment have been available since 1950, the drugs generally must be taken for 6 to 8 months. Many patients stop taking them as soon as they begin to feel better because of a lack of education. Premature cessation of the treatment will result in a relapse and possibly the emergence of a drug resistant

strain (Hugles, February 1998). Tuberculosis is out of control in many developing countries of the world. Within the developed world, immigration is the greatest factor contributing to the increase in cases. Current events suggest that the situation will deteriorate further before the international community provides sufficient resources to regain the upper hand in the war against tuberculosis (World Health Organization). The practical solution must concentrate on the completed and correct treatment of the great majority of those suffering from tuberculosis, particularly those that are sputum smear positive. Since TB is easily transmissible between people, the increase in TB in any segment of the population represents threat to all segments of the population. The first level of

prevention is education. I am working as an interpreter-translator in a medical setting for the Russian and Ukrainian community and I realize that many people do not know the facts about TB. This means that it is important to institute and maintain appropriate public health measures, including teaching, screening, vaccination, and treatment. This issue is very important to me, because 1 out 20 of Ukrainian-Russian people have been infected with TB germs. People should know that treatment at this point could prevent TB germs from causing TB disease. The problem is noncompliance with the treatment because of a lack of knowledge. If we will decrease TB in any segment of the population, we will decrease the threat to all segments of the population. The first medical place where the

Russian immigrants come to is Health Department. People are screening there for TB by the TB skin test. A positive reaction usually means that person has TB infection. Many people who have TB infection never develop TB disease. But some people who have TB infection are more likely to develop TB disease than others. These people are at high risk for TB disease. They include: + people with HIV infection + people in close contact with a person who has infectious TB + people who became infected with TB bacteria in the last 2 years + babies and young children + people who inject drugs + people who are sick with other diseases that weaken the immune system + elderly people If someone has TB infection (a positive skin test reaction) and he or she is in one of these high-risk groups, he