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Tuberculosis: Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Monday, 14 Mar 2011 03:14 PM

Tuberculosis, a lung disease, is caused by a deadly strain of pathogenic bacteria, mycobacterium tuberculosis. A person suffering from tuberculosis may have symptoms like weight loss, fever, night sweats, and chronic cough.
A number of medical breakthroughs have been made in the treatment of TB. New breakthroughs include:

1. The administration of a combination of four different types of antibiotics, over a period of six to nine months, instead of treating the disease with a single medicine.

2. In countries where tuberculosis is common, vaccination is one of the best prevention methods. BCG vaccine is one of the most effective new vaccines used today.

3. Chemoprophylaxis (prevention of a disease with the aid of a chemotherapeutic agent) with a single medicine called isoniazid is used to kill the TB bacteria in the body. This method is used especially for the treatment of latent tuberculosis. The drug has to be taken for at least nine months.

4. Recent studies have shown that using more than one antibiotic for therapy strongly reduces the risk of resistance to drugs. One such combination proven to be highly effective is the Isoniazid(NH)/rifampicin combination. Other tuberculosis treatments include medications such as Pyrazinamide, Streptomycin, Rifampin, and Ethambutol.

5. A short chemotherapy course, according to experts, is highly effective in the treatment of tuberculosis symptoms.

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