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The cause of TB or tuberculosis is infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are many factors that can increase your risk of developing this disease, from an unhe althy lifestyle to having a weak immune system
Tuberculosis or TB is one of the 10 most common causes of death in the world. According to data from the World He alth Organization (WHO), every year there are around 1.5 million people in the world who die from TB.
Globally, Indonesia is one of the countries with the most tuberculosis. The Ministry of He alth of the Republic of Indonesia noted that in 2018 alone there were approximately 842 thousand Indonesians who suffered from TB.
Due to the high number of TB cases in Indonesia, it is important to know the causes of TB and what factors can increase your risk of developing this disease. The goal is that you can make efforts to prevent TB more optimally.
Causes of TB and its Risk Factors
As previously explained, the cause of TB is infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria that cause TB generally attack the lungs.
Bacteria can spread to other people through splashes of saliva that are released into the air when someone with TB sneezes, coughs, or spit. Although it can be spread through the air, the transmission of TB disease is not as easy as the spread of the flu or cough.
The process of transmitting TB bacteria requires close and prolonged contact with the patient. For example, living or working together and often interacting in their daily life.
The chances of you contracting TB if you just sit next to an infected person, for example on a bus or train, are very small. In addition, TB patients who have been taking anti-tuberculosis drugs for at least 2 weeks are also at a lower risk of transmitting the disease to others.
Nevertheless, there are several groups of people who are more easily infected with TB, including:
- People with weak immune systems (infants, children, the elderly, or people with HIV/AIDS) malnutrition, diabetes, and end-stage kidney failure, cancer
- People who live or work in high-risk environments, such as nursing homes or homeless shelters
- People who live in dense and slum settlements
- Medical workers who treat TB patients
- People living with TB sufferers
- People with bad lifestyles, such as abusing drugs or consuming alcohol
- People who are on medication that can weaken the immune system, such as chemotherapy
- People taking immunosuppressant drugs, for example people with cancer, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn's disease
In most cases, TB can indeed be cured as long as the drugs prescribed by the doctor are used correctly and according to directions. However, it is important for you to know the causes of TB and the risk factors, so that you can be more aware of the spread of this disease.
In general, TB treatment takes at least 6 months to fully recover. Without regular and proper treatment, it will be much more difficult for sufferers to recover.
Don't hesitate to consult a doctor if you are at high risk of developing TB, especially if you are already experiencing some of the symptoms. The sooner this disease is detected, the greater the chance of being cured.