March 24 is World Tuberculosis Day

Tuberculosis or shorten to TB comes from a germ that is slow moving called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Most people think it is only in the lungs, but in truth it can be in any part of your body. There are two different types of TB there is the latent TB infection (LTB) with the LTB people who have breathed in this bacteria will find that their bodies will fight off this bacteria and the body will win. The bacteria will still hang out in the body, but the person will not become sick. The people with the latent will not have any symptoms and they are not able to spread the disease. Almost all of the people with LTB will not ever develop TB, the people with an already weakened immune system could have a higher chance of of developing the bacteria. The people that are at risk for this is someone that has TB within the last two years. Babies, younger children and of course the elderly. People with chronic health like HIV, cancer, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. The people that are taking medications that can weaken their immune systems, or the people that have taken TB medications before that were not done right, like not getting the proper medications  or they did not take them for long enough.

The second type of TB is called  Active TB. If the body can no longer fight off LTB it becomes active TB. This is the more serious one, if a person has the active TB they will be sick and can spread the TB bacteria to other people. Although active TB may cause death, unless treated and cured.

TB is spread by being airborne from person to person  by coughing, sneezing, laughing and singing when they have active TB in their lungs.

When Tb is in the air other people can breathe it in.

There are some signs and symptoms of active TB which depend on where the bacteria is located. Fevers, chills, night sweats, feeling not hungry, unexplained weight loss, weakness, very tired.

If someone has Pulmonary TB which is usually in the lungs some of the symptoms are: a new or worsen cough that has lasted longer than 3 weeks. When they cough up mucus that may have blood in it. Trouble breathing and a pain in their chest.

When TB is not in the lungs but other parts of the body the symptoms could be: Glands, that have lumps in the neck. pain in the bones or their back. The joints have a lot of pain also with redness and swelling. In their kidneys it could cause painful urination, and or cloudy pee. They could have headaches, a stiff neck, and it hurts to move their head and eyes. They could find it hard to catch their breath and have chest pain. They could have stomach pain and a change in their feces.

The people that have the TB bacteria that they can spread to others, need to stay home an avoid other people.

Although the majority of people that have the active TB bacteria were usually born outside of Canada, anyone can get it. In Bc there are approximately 250-300 diagnoses of new active TB every year.

A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Colleen or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.