Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is spread by air and, although it mainly affects the lungs, it can also damage other organs. It is characterized because the infection, caused by the bacteria M. tuberculosis, it can remain latent, that is, not all infected people develop the disease.
Experts from the Spanish Society of Pediatric Pulmonology (SENP) have warned that there is an increase in cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis among children, and have attributed this phenomenon to adults who live with children may suffer from contagious tuberculosis without knowing it, and transmit the disease to children.
These specialists influence the need for an early diagnosis and the initiation of treatment as soon as possible, controlling that such treatment is followed properly and is effective, in order to eradicate this disease, which is the most avoidable deaths caused worldwide.
Almost half of the people diagnosed with tuberculosis in Spain (in 2009, 7,662 cases were detected, of which 7.7% were children) come from developing countries, which according to Dr. Neus Altelt, specialist of the SEN, it is because there are risk factors such as poverty and its consequences: poor nutrition, overcrowding, lack of hygiene, weakening of the immune system ... that favor the spread and development of the disease.
It can be cured
Once diagnosed, and with an effective treatment, tuberculosis can be cured; However, specialists warn that the emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis, which are known as MDR-TB (TB-Multi-drug resistant) and XDR-TB (tuberculosis with extended resistance), and that can also be transmitted from adults to children, represent a great threat to health, because every year about half a million cases are declared worldwide and, in many cases, there are no effective medicines to fight the disease, which can cause the death of those affected.
For this reason, experts point out the need to continue research to develop new methods of early diagnosis, and alternative treatments to replace drugs that are no longer effective and also allow to reduce the duration of therapy.
Source: Spanish Society of Pediatric Pulmonology (SENP)