The Department of Health (DOH) has reported rising cases of tuberculosis (TB) in Eastern Visayas, prompting the agency to call for the observance of preventive measures. During the DOH radio program on Friday, Caryl Lapriza, DOH regional TB nurse coordinator said at least 3,266 persons were diagnosed with the disease during the first quarter of 2023. 'In 2022, there were 12,931 TB cases, higher than the 9,171 cases recorded in 2021. Based on our data, it is the 9th cause of death in the region,' Lapriza said. The DOH regional information office has no data on the number of deaths due to the disease. 'Our advice to those manifesting TB symptoms is to seek consultation and complete the treatment for six to 12 months. Treatment is free in our rural health units,' Lapriza added. She reminded patients to complete the treatment since misused and mismanaged anti-TB drugs can lead to drug-resistant TB, which can occur when people do not complete the full course of treatment. The most common symptoms of TB are chronic cough, fever, especially rising in the evening, night sweats, chest pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, and coughing up blood. 'TB is spread primarily from person to person through infected air during close contact. The bacteria get into the air when someone infected with TB of the lung coughs, sneezes, shouts, or spits,' the official explained. She said a person can become infected when they inhale minute particles of the infected sputum from the air. It is possible to get TB by just touching clothes or shaking the hand of someone infected. The DOH raises public awareness of TB as the country observes National Tuberculosis Awareness Month this August. The annual observance is aimed at reducing the incidence of TB and TB-related deaths in the country.
Source: Philippines News Agency