DOH CHD reminds public on good respiratory hygiene on World TB Day

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Health – Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) urged the public to practice good respiratory hygiene as the world observes World TB Day today, March 24.

Tuberculosis is one of the top ten causes of mortality in the Bicol region, according to National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) Regional Coordinator Dr. Jannish Alcala-Arellano.
It is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which primarily affects the lungs.

Other parts of the body, including the bones, meninges, joints, intestines, liver, kidneys, and heart, may also be affected by tuberculosis.
When an individual is infected with the bacteria through air droplets when a person with TB coughs or sneezes, signs and symptoms may include cough for two weeks or more, fever, chest or back pain, loss of weight, and blood-streaked sputum.

Alcala-Arellano noted the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affected the implementation of the National Tuberculosis Program.

Individuals with TB symptoms, she said, worried about going to health facilities to access health services and medication for fear of getting infected with COVID-19.

Alcala-Arellano, however, strongly urged these individuals to consult with the nearest TB DOTS facility and get tested.

She reiterated that while TB is preventable and curable, and that TB tests and medicines are free, it is still necessary to complete a treatment regimen to avoid drug resistance.