For the past five years, District Tuberculosis Center Leh (DTC) estimated 818 TB case in Leh District. Around 230 TB patients in Leh district is living with active TB Smear-positive (that is fatal contagious disease). Smear-positive cases are the most infectious and are likely to transmit the disease in their surroundings.
Tuberculosis control remains a major health challenge in DTC Leh. As per the past three years reports, the number TB Smear-positive (fatal contagious disease) cases has risen from 32 to 50 cases from the year 2014-17.
In 2012, out of 178 TB cases, 63 were reported as TB Smear-positive. In the year 2013, 2014 and 2015, out of 189, 147, 146 cases 41, 32 and 44 were reported as TB Smear-positive patients respectively.
Whereas in the year 2016-17, 183 TB cases reported in DTC Leh, of which 50 were TB Smear-positive patients.
“Older people are more vulnerable to the disease because of weak immune system which lead to relapses or reactivate of the disease,” Jigmet Samstan, Programme Coordinator DTC Leh.
The pie diagram shows New Smear Positive Pulmonary TB (that is fatal contagious TB) cases under various age groups reported at DTC Leh in past five years. The highest burden of TB disease continues to be among older people at the age of 65 and above and the number of patients registered is 56. Followed by the age group of 15-24, 48 patients are registered. Under 14 years, only one case was reported in 2016.
Inhaling TB bacteria that are present in the air released by an infected person, transmits TB disease. It is transmitted through coughs, sneezes, saliva and droplets. Tuberculosis is a spreadable disease and causes infection in the lungs. TB can be treated, cured, and prevented.
“Diagnosing a TB is difficult, if a person suffers from cough problem for more than 10 days, he or she should consult the doctor. However, the number of TB deaths rate continue to fall in Leh district”, he added.
He further added that the medicines for TB patients are available free of cost at any government hospitals. The treatment consists of a combination of the TB drugs. The medicine can be taken for at least six months. However, the success of the treatment depends on the regularity of medication prescribed by the doctor.