Tuberculosis – India

Over half a million extra-pulmonary cases were diagnosed in 2021, compared to un 80 thousand the year before. Tuberculosis is spreading across India.

Symptoms include coughing for more than three weeks, coughing blood, chest pain, weight loss, fatigue, fever, night chills and sweats. Incubation period is 3 to 9 weeks. Transmission occurs when a person inhales droplet nuclei containing M. tuberculosis, and the droplet nuclei traverse the mouth or nasal passages, upper respiratory tract, and bronchi to reach the alveoli of the lungs.

Over half a million cases in 2021, 76,000 in 2020. No reported deaths in the article. Reports of many hospitalisations.

Photo: Mycobacterium tuberculosis electron micrograph.

About one quarter of the world’s population has a tuberculosis infection, which means people have been infected but are not (yet) ill with the disease and cannot transmit it.

When a person develops active tuberculosis, the symptoms (such as cough, fever, night sweats, or weight loss) may be mild for many months. This can lead to delays in seeking care, and results in transmission of the bacteria to others. People with active tuberculosis can infect 5 to 15 other people through close contact over the course of a year.

The largest numbers of new tuberculosis cases occurred in South-East Asia, followed by Africa and the Western Pacific. In 2019, eight countries accounted for two thirds of the new tuberculosis cases: India, Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.

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