Friday, March 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


22 lakh Indians contract TB every year
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
Forty per cent of the Indian population is infected with tuberculosis and over 22 lakh people are added to this pool every year. These were some of the facts disclosed by the Health Department, Ludhiana, recently.

World TB Day falls on March 24. Tuberculosis is a major public health problem in India, accounting for 1/3rd of the global burden of TB patients.

According to the local health officials, the cure for the disease was discovered more than four decades ago and since then 120 million people have died of TB.

Individuals having a cough for more than three weeks duration, evening rise of temperature, loss of weight, loss of appetite and blood in sputum, must get themselves examined to rule out tuberculosis.

The data available with the health department reveals that 14 million TB cases are prevalent in India. One sputum positive patient infects 10-15 persons in a year if left untreated. Every year, TB kills 5 lakh people in India. One person dies every minute due to the disease. The survey reveals that nearly 60 per cent of AIDS cases develop TB. 75 per cent of the TB cases develop in the most economically productive age group of 15 to 50 years. The disease was the single biggest killer of young women.

Dr Anil Verma, district TB officer, said that a person having continuous cough for more than three weeks should have sputum examinations done. One should take all the medicines for the full prescribed period on a regular basis. One should not rely only on X-Ray for diagnosis of TB.

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