Tuberculosis Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Medical Insurance | Royal Sundaram
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is an exceptionally infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs of a person. It is a life-threating disease which can cause death if not treated immediately. World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Tuberculosis is on the top 10 causes of death across the globe.
A history of Tuberculosis, previously known as consumption, is found to be in higher numbers in developing countries. Even though TB is a potentially fatal disease, it can be prevented and cured as long as is it treated at the right time. The most evident symptom of TB is prolonged coughing, and the patient should immediately consult a doctor if their cough lasts for over a few weeks.
TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, that invades a person's lungs. TB is a very contagious airborne disease and can spread easily when someone comes in contact with an infected person. People with a weak immune system are highly susceptible to getting infected.
The most common symptom related to Tuberculosis is seen in the respiratory system. However, symptoms are not always active after a person gets infected with TB bacteria; such cases are called latent TB. In the case of latent TB, a person might get infected at a certain time, but the symptoms don’t show up for years as the bacteria remains dormant.
Some of the most common symptoms of TB are:
- Persistent cough
- Pain while breathing
- Night sweats
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
Lungs are the first part of the body that gets affected once a person is infected by TB; however, the bacteria can also affect organs like kidney, spleen and even the brain. In these cases, the patient might suffer from varied symptoms.
If you have been suffering from a persistent cough, it is highly advisable that you consult your doctor immediately as it might be the first signs of Tuberculosis. If the doctor feels that the symptoms indicate the presence of Tuberculosis bacteria, he/she might suggest further tests to confirm the theory.
Tuberculosis can be diagnosed through various methods, some of which are:
- AFB (Acid-Fast Bacillus) Smear and Culture
- Chest X-Ray
- Blood test for TB Infection
- Tuberculin Skin Testing
- Tuberculosis Screening
In case the results of these tests remain unclear, then the doctor might suggest a lung biopsy or a CT scan of the chest. It is imperative that these tests are done as quickly as possible as Tuberculosis can be fatal if it does not get treated on-time.
Tuberculosis can spread very easily as it is an airborne disease. It is practically impossible to avoid crowds in a populated country like India, which can make a person very susceptible to catching the TB infection. It is always a smart idea to be prepared by having health insurance for the family as a preventive measure as you can never be too sure when going out in the crowds on a daily basis.
Tuberculosis Treatment and Cost in India
Treating Tuberculosis can be a lengthy process, unlike other bacterial infections that can be treated within weeks with antibiotics. Treating Tuberculosis requires taking a combination of medications for over the course of six to nine months. It is very necessary that the patient complete the entire course or else they run a high risk of relapse.
Once the tests are done, a doctor can have a better idea of the type of prescription that is required as some strains of TB are resistant to certain drugs. Isoniazid, Ethambutol, Pyrazinamide, Rifampin, Rifapentine is the most common combinations of medications used for the treatment of Tuberculosis.
The medications used for treating TB are generally associated with some problematic side effects like dark urine, appetite loss, fever, vomiting, and jaundice. In case you observe any of these side effects, while on the course of TB medications, inform your doctor immediately.
Other than the cure for TB, the disease can also be prevented. People living in countries like India that are considered high-risk regions have TB vaccinations available for children. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is a vaccine generally used against some TB strains.
Tuberculosis is extremely life-threating, and people, especially senior citizens, with a weak immune system, are more prone to getting infected with the TB. It is highly recommended to have health insurance for senior citizens in order to make sure that the costs of the treatment are taken care of in case the disease becomes fatal for the patient.
Insurance in India
Medical insurance is highly necessary in a country like India. With a multitude of disease on the rise, the cost of treatment of the disease is increasing every day. Hospitals, medicines, and tests can run a person dry if they do not have a health insurance policy in place.
Fortunately, the Indian insurance industry offers various types of insurances that can be tailor-made to the person's medical and lifestyle needs. You should pick the best health insurance plan for yourself and your family in order to secure your future.
A good health insurance plan must provide coverage for all the expenditures you might incur during the period of dealing with any medical conditions. It is becoming easier and easier these days to get yourself medical insurance as you can search for and compare all your options on the internet.
India, as a country, is very polluted and overpopulated. The air that we breathe could be carrying germs and bacteria that we aren’t even aware of which make us highly prone to falling sick very often.
Tuberculosis is one of many airborne diseases that are very commonly found in this country. Here are some other diseases that can be transmitted very easily through the air we breathe: