TB is the number one cause of death in Indonesia. The large number of TB cases in the country is more or less influenced by the understanding of the people who are still wrong about this disease. As a result, not a few people are hesitant to seek treatment and eventually handled. Here are some of the myths of TB that you don't need to trust anymore.
The myth of tuberculosis which turns out to be wrong
TB is a hereditary disease
This TB myth is WRONG . TB or tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by an infection of the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
This disease is more often spread among family members, but has nothing to do with genetic or family health history. TB bacteria spread to the splash of saliva that comes out of the mouth when the person is coughing, sneezing, laughing, or talking - and then inhaled by someone else.
When you spend a lot of time doing activities around people with TB without protection (such as masks), you can gradually catch the same disease. Because the TB bacteria can survive for weeks, even months, in a dark, damp, and cold room. That is why tuberculosis also often spreads in the scope of offices or schools.
However, the size of your chances of contracting TB from a sick family member will depend on your health, endurance, and personal hygiene. The stronger your endurance, the smaller the risk of contracting TB.
TB is a disease of the community of middle to lower economic groups
This TB myth is WRONG . The latest data from the Indonesian Health Profile in 2016 did note that TB cases in Indonesia were mostly found in groups of productive age people (25-34 years) who did not go to school and who did not work, but TB risk factors themselves had nothing to do with one's economic condition.
Even so, everyone is at risk of developing TB if:
- The body's immune system is weak
- Personal hygiene and environment are not maintained
- Environmental factors, such as damp, narrow, and not exposed to sunlight.
- Close direct, long, frequent, and continuous contact with active TB patients.
TB can only attack the lungs
This TB Myth WRONG. Once inhaled, TB bacteria will indeed settle in the lungs and begin to multiply to cause pulmonary TB. If the tuberculosis is not treated properly, bacteria can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.
Other types of TB infections that are also common are bone TB, lymph node TB, and intestinal TB. It can even attack the heart, nervous system, and other organs. The difference is, these types of TB are not contagious like pulmonary TB, because they do not show cough symptoms that can spread active bacteria to other people.
"Don't share food or cutlery with TB patients"
This TB myth is WRONG. You may often hear this advice from people around you, to stay away from people with TB so you don't get infected. TB is indeed contagious, but this is no reason to alienate people from the community.
TB won't spread or move with physical contact, like:
- Shaking hands or holding hands with sufferers
- Cuddle or kiss
- Share food or drink
- Use the same toilet as someone who has TB
- Use the same cutlery, sleeping utensils and toothbrush as the sufferer
TB bacteria cannot attach to clothing or skin, can only be transmitted through the air when TB patients remove phlegm or saliva from their mouths that contain bacteria that causes TB and are then inhaled by others.
People who are infected with TB bacteria will definitely get tuberculosis
This TB myth is WRONG . In fact, most people actually have been exposed to TB germs at least once during their lifetime. However, only 10% of people infected with TB will suffer from tuberculosis.
After entering the body, the bacteria are still not active but will still be in a latent stage or sleep for some time. This period is called the incubation period. Because bacteria are not active, there will be no symptoms and no contagious.
One of the determinants of a person can get TB or not is how strong your immune system is. The stronger your immune system is, the less likely it is for TB bacteria to develop into disease.
Elderly, people with HIV or AIDS, people with cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and other autoimmune diseases have a higher risk of infection because their immune systems are weak and unable to suppress bacterial growth.
TB cannot heal
This TB myth is WRONG . Even though it is a chronic disease, TB can heal completely up to 99% - as long as you routinely get treatment for 6-9 months in a row and never forget to take TB medicine.
The success rate of TB treatment throughout 2008-2009 has reached 90%, in accordance with the standards set by the WHO, although it continued to decline throughout the following year. The latest data in 2016 recorded the success of TB treatment at the national level of around 85 percent.
If you don't get regular treatment, the bacteria only weaken for a moment and then strengthen so you get the impression that your disease has recurred. In fact, you have never fully recovered.
To find out whether the patient has completely recovered it can only be ascertained through the results of laboratory tests. If the results show that the presence of bacteria is negative, the patient is declared totally cured.
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