World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is celebrated every March 24, since on March 24, 1882 Robert Koch first discovered the TB bacterium, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria and generally attacks the lungs, but can also attack other organs of the body.

“There are typical and atypical symptoms of TB, which is characterized by frequent coughing up of blood, while the non-typical ones include coughing up phlegm, weight loss, and fever. There is nothing wrong with screening to a health facility to find out the condition of the type of cough. TB is not due to genetics but due to close contact, meaning that close contacts in one house for a long time can transmit the disease. TB bacteria has been proven to be intolerant to sunlight, if it is exposed to sunlight in the air within half an hour, they will die,” said dr. Dinda Saraswati R., Sp.PD., Internal Medicine Specialist at Diponegoro National Hospital, Diponegoro University.

She conveyed that curing tuberculosis is using anti-TB drugs that have been applied by the Ministry of Health where the treatment is taking drugs every day for 6 months for cases that are not drug resistant. However, if the TB patient is a type of drug resistant, the treatment will be longer and complemented with more complex drug combinations.

“TB bacteria when infecting the lungs is like building a house, coughing up blood or not depending on the extent of the damage it causes, whether it hits the blood vessels or not. All coughing up blood is not TB, so we must check ourselves to make sure and we also educate the public if there is blood in cough, get checked immediately,” she continued.

“If you know someone has been diagnosed with TB, the Health Center or RT or RW will automatically suggest screening the house members with close contacts. Even though TB is detected, the patient can still socialize at home, of course, by keeping a distance and wearing a mask. TB treatment takes a long time so that support for patients, especially from their families is very important, for example by reminding them to take medicine, to maintain nutrition intake and not to be isolated from the environment,” explained dr. Dinda.

“We must increase knowledge and awareness of how to break the chain of TB, find people who are infected with TB, as well as monitor and continue treatment until the patients fully recover so that TB will not be transmitted to other people. TB is not only attacking the lungs but it can infect all organs throughout the body. If any symptoms happen, immediately take the patient to the nearest health facility to get examined whether they are exposed to TB or not and get treated completely. TB can be cured with proper treatment and support from family. A good environment is also an important point,” she said. (Lin – Public Relations)