Is tuberculosis an illness of the past?
IIn Japan in 2016, 18,280 people per year contracted TB and 1,956 people died. TB remains a high virulent disease in Japan, even today. In the City of Kumamoto, about 100 people have newly contracted TB. Recent trends indicate an increase in the number of people of 70 years old or older who are affected with TB.
What kind of disease is TB?
TB is caused by the tuberculosis bacteria that affect the lungs. Phlegm contaminated with TB bacteria is released into the air by coughing and sneezing. A person who inhales it can become infected. Even if you are infected by the TB bacteria, however, you do not necessarily develop the disease. Only 1 or 2 out of every ten infected people actually contract TB.
Is it true that latent TB bacteria can become active dozens of years after infection?
Once you get infected with TB bacteria, the bacteria is latent within your body, and when your physical strength and immune resistance declines, the dormant germs may become active again. You can develop the illness many years after infection.
How to protect yourself from TB
Proper management of your health will help you prevent TB. Keep in mind that a well-balanced diet, plenty of sleep, and appropriate amounts of exercise on a daily basis are important for maintaining your immune sytem. Receiving a BCG vaccination before your first birthday prevents TB in infancy as well as cerebral meningitis and miliary tuberculosis which are prone to becoming serious.
Get medical help as soon as possible if you have symptoms that make you uneasy.
If you have persistent coughs for more than two weeks or worry about fatigue, weight loss or phlegm, seek medical attention at the nearest medical facility. If you are coughing, it is important to wear a mask so that you do not infect other people with your illness.
Regularly undergo routine examinations.
If you detect TB at an early stage and receive medical treatment, it will not become severe, and it decrease the possibility of transmission. Getting a medical examination on a regular basis and having your chest examined with chest x-rays will let you know whether or not there is a sign of TB.
Please pay special attention to the following symptoms:
・Phlegm (blood in the sputum)
・Sustained low fever
If you have the above symptoms for more than two weeks, please visit a medical institution to have yourself examined because you might be affected by TB. Symptoms of TB are similar to those of a cold, so there are times when medical assistance is delayed. If symptoms worsen without medical treatment, you may infect other people around you.
TB counseling & chest X-ray examinations (no charge)
Time and Date： September 26th (Mon.)、27th（Tue.） 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm ※Only two days this fiscal year
Place： Disease Control and Prevention Section (4th floor of Wel-Pal Kumamoto)
What is included： Health consultation on TB, chest X-ray examination, etc.
Eligible people： Kumamoto City residents （Take this opportunity if you do not usually have the chance to undergo a thorax examination.）
Application： Please go to the site directly.
(Kansensho Taisaku-ka [Disease Control and Prevention Section] ☎096-364-3189)
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