Mar 5, 2022

The Global Effects of TB

Crisp Living.

World Tuberculosis Day is March 24th. This day is set aside to recognize the day that the organism which causes tuberculosis was discovered. TB is an illness that affects the lungs and spreads through the air. It can cause fever, fatigue, cough, and if untreated, even death.

Medical Advances

TB was the number one cause of death at the beginning of the 20th century. However, we now have better ways to treat TB, significantly reducing TB-related deaths in the U.S.

Around 30% of the world’s population has non-active TB germs in their bodies. This is known as latent TB. People with latent TB are not contagious but need treatment in order to prevent the TB from becoming active. Currently, the majority of TB cases are found in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa.


TB can be treated with several drugs, and treatment usually takes 6-12 months. This treatment can be less accessible and harder to complete for those outside the U.S. It is important that people receive the correct amount of treatment over the required amount of time, or else the TB germs can become resistant to treatment.

Risk Factors

There are several factors that may impact people’s risk of developing TB including
  • Weak or compromised immune systems
  • Malnutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being HIV positive
Someone who is HIV positive is up to 30 percent more likely to develop TB. Additionally, because HIV compromises the immune system, it is extremely important that people who are HIV positive receive treatment.

Current Research

Research has allowed for the development of tools to prevent, diagnose, and successfully treat TB. Researchers continue to find and improve treatment methods for TB worldwide.

This World Tuberculosis Day, consider donating to an organization like the American Lung Association which is working on lifesaving TB research.

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