DHA discusses importance of early detection of Tuberculosis

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DUBAI / Emirates Business

The Dubai Health Authority’s (DHAs) smart clinic discussed the importance of awareness and early detection of Tuberculosis on
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease caused by bacteria that is spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, or spits.
Dr Hassan Shurie, Consultant and Head of Technical Services in DHA’s Medical Fitness Department, said, “In general, in the UAE, the prevalence of TB quite low, it is roughly five cases in every 100,000 as compared to many countries where prevalence is 20 to 30 cases per 100,000. Mainly, the disease is more prevalent in countries and areas where low socio-economic conditions prevail.
In terms of age, it is more prevalence in young adults because often they live in groups in places such as work camps, universities, colleges etc. The highest prevalence of TB worldwide is in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Shurie said that there are two types of TB: Latent and Active TB. “In latent or inactive TB, the patient has the infection but the bacteria remains in your body in an inactive state and causes no symptoms. Latent TB, is not contagious. It can turn into active TB, and generally, the chance of it becoming active TB is 10 per cent, therefore, treatment is important for the person with latent TB to help control the spread of TB. Normally, latent TB becomes active TB when there is a drop in immunity because of certain diseases such as HIV Aids.
“Active TB means the person is actually experiencing all the symptoms of TB and the patient can spread the disease because it is contagious.”
Dr Gamal Abdulrazzak Mustafa, senior pulmonologist at Rashid Hospital, said the combined symptoms of TB include but are not limited to coughing that lasts two to three weeks, coughing blood, chest pain, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, and fever mainly at night and sweating at night.
Treatment for active TB includes isolation to prevent the spread of the disease Shurie said: “TB is 100 per cent curable; however, absolute compliance to treatment and regular follow-up is extremely important to treat the disease.”

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