Posts Tagged ‘Tuberculosis’

India carries 26 percent of the global TB burden: WHO

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

crop2_240x240_25mar14‘Prema’s’ eyes playfully gleam behind her face mask. She looks frail and full of hope. Draped elegantly in a colourful saree, Prema, 25, is unusually thin and knows she has tuberculosis (TB).

She is scared and doesn’t have an idea of what it is, but has survived to tell horror stories of the extremely painful side effects of the drugs she has been taking since she began treatment a year ago.

She pulls out a warehouse of medicine strips from a ziplock bag to show. Prema has a cocktail of 13 pills every day, day after day, for two years. But she is happy that her 9 month period of injectables is over.

She travels once a month from her crowded home leaving her two daughters, aged seven and seven and six other members of her family in a slum in Kandivili, a suburb north of Mumbai to the facility managed by international humanitarian medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF (Doctors Without Borders) in Khar, located in the heart of the city.


TB vaccine hopes fade

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

A major trial of a tuberculosis (TB) vaccine has ended in failure, marking a major setback in the fight against the disease, which cause 1.4 million deaths a year.

The latest vaccine, known as MVA85A, failed to protect babies who had already had the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), the BBC reported.

BCG is only partially effective against the bacterium that causes TB, which is why several international teams are working on new vaccines.

The trial, in South Africa, involved 2,794 healthy children aged four to six months, half of whom received MVA85A and the rest a placebo.

They were followed up for an average of two years.

The researchers found 32 cases of TB in those who had received the vaccine compared with 39 in the placebo group.

This gave an effectiveness of 17 percent, which is so low as to be statistically non-significant.


Breath test helps identify bacteria’s ‘fingerprint’ in lung infection

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

In a new study, researchers have identified the chemical fingerprints given off by specific bacteria when present in the lungs, potentially allowing for a quick and simple breath test to diagnose infections such as tuberculosis.

The researchers have successfully distinguished between different types of bacteria, as well as different strains of the same bacteria, in the lungs of mice by analysing the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in exhaled breath.

It is hoped that a simple breath test could reduce the diagnosis time of lung infections from days and weeks to just minutes.

“Traditional methods employed to diagnose bacterial infections of the lung require the collection of a sample that is then used to grow bacteria. The isolated colony of bacteria is then biochemically tested to classify it and to see how resistant it is to antibiotics,” Jane Hill, co-author of the paper from the University of Vermont, said.


Ayurveda Q&A: Remedies for pregnancy with TB

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Dr Gowthaman, Medical Director, Dr Gowthaman’s Ayurveda Panchakarma Center, Chennai, answers readers’ questions on Ayurveda. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Tuesday.

This week’s answers:

1. Dear Dr. Gowthaman, I am am having high triglyceride level 350-500 and taking allopathy treatment. My cholesterol level is absolutely normal. I have read about 2gms clove powder daily empty stomach. Will it control triglyceride level to normal?? Any other Ayurveda medicine will also be helpful??
Pl. reply.

Kind regards,
Hi Parmesh,
Yes, clove powder is one of the effective remedies for cholesterol correction and prevent high cholesterol related problems. I have recommended this for close to 7000 patients in my practice. And documented the evidences for close to 1000 patients, it has a positive impact on triglycerides and cholesterol ratio. However if any one has stomach or duodenal ulcer it is not advisable.


Health news: Apollo joins hands with IMA to spread TB awareness

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Chennai: Apollo Hospitals along with Indian Medical Association organized a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program to inform medical practitioners on the advanced medical treatment options available.

Tuberculosis, a public health threat for over hundreds of years, still remains a major concern among doctors and patients.  It is the second leading infectious disease killer in the world behind HIV/AIDS. According to studies, in India two people die of tuberculosis every three minutes. Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria and spreads to persons through air. It not only affects lungs, but also the brain, spine, intestines, eyes, covering of the heart, stomach, and bones and joints.

While lung TB is most common, about 2 lakh Indians suffer from tuberculosis of the spine. It affects people of all age groups and all socio-economic backgrounds. Incidence of spinal TB has increased with a rise in prevalence among HIV patients.


10 facts about tuberculosis

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

World TB Day raises awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease. About one third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria. Only a small proportion of those infected will become sick with TB.

People with weakened immune systems have a much greater risk of falling ill from TB. A person living with HIV is about 20 to 30 times more likely to develop active TB.

Reaching the Millennium Development Goal to reverse the tuberculosis epidemic by 2015 is in sight. WHO’s Stop TB Strategy aims to ensure universal access to diagnosis, treatment and care for all people affected by TB, and drive down TB deaths and burden.

The annual event on 24 March marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch detected the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. This was a first step towards diagnosing and curing tuberculosis. WHO is working to cut TB prevalence rates and deaths by half by 2015.


Childhood tuberculosis neglected, despite available remedies

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Geneva: Tuberculosis (TB) often goes undiagnosed in children from birth to 15 years old because they lack access to health services – or because the health workers who care for them are unprepared to recognize the signs and symptoms of TB in this age group. With better training and harmonization of the different programmes that provide health services for children, serious illness and death from TB could be prevented in thousands of children every year, WHO and Stop TB Partnership said today.

Childhood TB a hidden epidemic

“We have made progress on TB: death rates are down 40% overall compared to 1990 and millions of lives have been saved,” said Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Stop TB Department. “But unfortunately, to a large extent, children have been left behind, and childhood TB remains a hidden epidemic in most countries. It is time to act and address it everywhere”.


Risk factors for TB

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Some people develop TB (tuberculosis) disease soon after becoming infected (within weeks) before their immune system can fight the TB bacteria. Other people may get sick years later, when their immune system becomes weak for another reason.

Overall, about 5 to 10% of infected persons who do not receive treatment for latent TB infection will develop TB disease at some time in their lives. For persons whose immune systems are weak, especially those with HIV infection, the risk of developing TB disease is much higher than for persons with normal immune systems.

Generally, persons at high risk for developing TB disease fall into two categories:
· Persons who have been recently infected with TB bacteria
· Persons with medical conditions that weaken the immune system

Persons who have been recently infected with TB Bacteria
This includes:
· Close contacts of a person with infectious TB disease
· Persons who have immigrated from areas of the world with high rates of TB
· Children less than 5 years of age who have a positive TB test
· Groups with high rates of TB transmission, such as homeless persons, injection drug users, and persons with HIV infection
· Persons who work or reside with people who are at high risk for TB in facilities or institutions such as hospitals, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and residential homes for those with HIV


Nutrition to prevent and heal tuberculosis

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Anyone with a weak immune system is susceptible for tuberculosis (TB) in certain situations. These situations are malnutrition, diabetes, renal failure, long term drug/alcohol abuse, HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy for cancer, old age and living in unsanitary crowded places.

Good food that meets the recommended daily allowances of macro and micronutrients are imperative in preventing and treating tuberculosis.

TB patients have lowered appetite and nausea both of which make getting them to eat a difficult task for the caregiver.

Hence, the diet of a tuberculosis patient must consist of nutrient-dense foods that provide:

High quality proteins to repair the damaged tissue

  • The best and easily digestible proteins are from egg whites and milk. About 2 eggs and 3 glasses of milk are required in a day.
  • Other good sources of protein are chicken, fish, meat, cheese, nuts and seeds, pulses.
  • Because of low appetite and possible gastric disturbances the preparation should be low in spices and not fried. Therefore, initially, egg and milk based puddings, peanut butter/chutney, chicken soups, cheese/chicken sandwiches and fish/meat patties are good choices to include in the diet.
  • As the appetite increases, all regular non veg preparations may be eaten. Chicken/fish/meat also contain good amounts of iron that will correct anaemia.


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