Ozlem YURTÇU KARABULUT, Güven USTA / ANTALYA (DHA)
Member of the scientific committee of the Ministry of Health on the coronavirus and specialist in lung diseases Prof. Dr. Tevfik Özlü said that 2 billion people worldwide carry the bacteria in the form of latent tuberculosis (TB), while 10-30% of the Turkish population has latent tuberculosis. teacher. Dr. Özlü said that risk groups should be screened for occult tuberculosis and society is also protected when preventive treatment is given to them.
Karadeniz Technical University Faculty of Medicine Department of Chest Diseases Faculty Member and Member of the Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Health on Coronavirus Prof. Dr. Tevfik Özlü drew attention to hidden tuberculosis cases due to World Tuberculosis Day on March 24. Responding to questions from Demirören News Agency during the National Lung Health Congress organized by the Association for Lung Health and Intensive Care (ASYOD) from March 16-19 in Antalya, Prof. Dr. Özlü said that when TB is mentioned, it is a disease everyone knows about, but when it comes to latent TB, most people are unaware of it.
Özlü said: “What we call hidden tuberculosis is not really a disease. It is healthy people. In other words, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis have taken over over time, the bacillus (bacterium) that causes tuberculosis has taken hold in the body, may survive in some outbreaks, but do not cause disease, cause no symptoms, and therefore no treatment is needed We are talking about people who do not are not infected. Although these people are carriers, they have no chance of transmitting the disease. 95-97% of carriers go through this process without ever getting sick. However, some of them become active TB patients in the course of infection. They mostly have conditions that suppress the body’s immune system. This group is important to us.” mentioned.
“2 BILLION PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE HIDDEN CARRIERS OF TUBERCULOSIS”
teacher. Dr. Özlü said: “These are skin tests or blood tests. When we do this, we understand that this person has already encountered the tuberculosis microbe and gone through the infection process. All patients with a diagnosis latent TB don’t need treatment.” It’s important that he gets the treatment we say. About 2 billion people in the world are said to have hidden cases of tuberculosis. In Turkey, 10 to 30% of the population is affected by this microbe. The main thing here is to deal with risk groups. In this way, these two people “We protect it, and if these people get sick, we prevent them from infecting society,” he said.
“WE CAN DESTROY DISEASE BY ‘CLEANING’ THE POOL OF INFECTION”
Stating that they call latent TB cases at high risk of getting sick as a pool of infections, Prof. Dr. Özlü continued his remarks as follows:
“Patients come out of this pool. If we can reduce this pool or eliminate it completely with preventive treatments, we have the chance to completely eradicate tuberculosis from the face of the earth. This is of course not an easy process. (WHO), ‘Termination of Tuberculosis Project’ It recommends this practice, ie preventive treatment of latent tuberculosis, especially for countries where active tuberculosis is not observed or is very rare. Turkey is one of these countries.
“IT IS NECESSARY TO SCREENING GROUPS AT RISK, NOT EVERYONE”
Expressing that it is not possible for everyone to be screened for TB and most of them can survive without getting sick, Prof. Dr. Özlü summarized the process to be followed by saying that the main target group should be the people at risk:
“It is necessary to screen people in the risk group who are likely to fall ill. These are people who have an immunosuppressive disease or who need to receive long-term immunosuppressive treatment or who are in contact with a new infectious pulmonary tuberculosis patient. and believed to be at risk of transmission Also children are very important We in children If we find that test positive we treat immediately, especially before the age of 15. Because the risk of developing an active disease is higher in children. In this sense, if there is a patient who needs to take immunosuppressive treatment, biological drugs, called anti-TNF, or who needs to use high dose cortisone for a long time.These tests should be done beforehand in patients.If it is understood that the person has latent tuberculosis, preventive treatment is started and then other tr ailments or if a disease that suppresses immunity occurs when she is healthy, for example if she becomes HIV positive, the same process is involved. any There are people who have to pass this test to be able to work in r jobs. When we detect positivity in them, we immediately start preventive treatments if they are in the risk group.”
IT IS TRANSMITTED THROUGH THE AIR LIKE THE CORONAVIRUS
Stating that tuberculosis is an airborne disease like the coronavirus, similar methods should be applied to protect it. Dr. Emphasizing that TB is not as common as Kovid, Özlü concluded his remarks as follows:
“In Turkey, 13 people are detected as new cases per 100,000. Therefore, it is not as common as Kovid in this respect, but in this respect it is different. But we must never forget that prevention is always easier, cheaper and more humane than treatment.Therefore, in terms of latent tuberculosis.It is a more humane, cheaper and more accurate method for people known to be in the risk group, to provide these preventive treatments, both for that person and for society.