A pathogen from thousands of years ago is still living among us, and it has the capability to eat up human bones! We have read about the plagues, the black death and the likes in history. It's scary to know that a pathogen from a very old time still exists today.
That Pathogen is nothing but Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. We commonly know this as TB. Oldest recorded cases of Tuberculosis dates back to ancient Indian Literature from 1000-600 BCE. It is described as “Yakshama” in books like Sushruta Samhita and Charaka Samhita. Although Tuberculosis largely affects the lungs, a variant of the bacteria called Lineage 1 can reach our bones. It is then called Skeletal TB. However, it is a relief that only 3% of all the TB cases reach the bones.
What are the symptoms of Skeletal TB?
- Severe back pain
- Inflammation in back or joints
- Trouble in moving or walking
- Muscle weakness
- Paralysis from the waist down or of all four limbs and sometimes in specific organs
- Bone or spinal deformities
How to prevent TB
Prevention is better than cure. In order to prevent TB from happening, measures have to be taken from childhood. BCG vaccine has to be given according to dosage as prescribed by the doctor. This can help build up the immunity against TB since childhood. 60% of adults can fight with TB if they have a healthy immune system. Moreover, maintaining a hygienic environment can go a long way in preventing any kind of disease.
Although conventional Tuberculosis is more common, Skeletal TB is very rare. However, early detection is the key to a proper diagnosis and treatment. Visit a nearby doctor if you come across any of the symptoms. The disease is curable with proper timely treatment.
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