Tuberculosis, compared to covid-19, has been present in the population for more than 15 thousand years, which has been a factor in the death of millions of people throughout history. Although there is treatment and a vaccine, the disease continues to be present in all countries of the world, where Mexico is no exception.
Despite the reduction in transmission of the virus that causes it, tuberculosis will continue to be present for several more centuries, even if it is controlled worldwide. With the covid-19 pandemic, its diagnosis was limited and it is estimated that there may be more cases on an outpatient basis after targeting global efforts against SARS-CoV-2.
What is tuberculosis and how is it transmitted?
It is an infectious disease caused by bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, being one of the most prevalent worldwide, where it has been present in human history and that can affect anyone due to its ease of transmission it can infect up to 15 people in a year.
The disease tends to be mainly located in the lungs, in a percentage of up to 80 percent of patients. Although there is a vaccine and treatment for the disease, cases continue to occur in Mexico throughout the year, in contrast to influenza, which is according to the seasonal season.
The groups most at risk in which tuberculosis can be complicated are people suffering from HIV, Diabetes, Cancer and malnutrition problems, as well as children under 5 years old and adults over 60 years old. People who recently received a transplant, have addiction to drugs or alcohol, and even people deprived of their liberty, are also at high risk of becoming ill.
The contagion can occur in people who are asymptomatic, who do not tend to show symptoms, or with an infected person in which their close relatives can also develop the virus over time. It has a healing time of between 6 months and up to two years in case a patient develops immunity.
Treatment against tuberculosis is more than 70 percent effective, however, people tend to abandon treatment during the first months, this being a disease with a long time of care, which is always supervised by a doctor.
Video: What is tuberculosis, what are the symptoms and how is the treatment? (Dailymotion)
Health authorities must monitor patient treatment in order to counteract tuberculosis, which is a conjunction of drugs and medical studies about the state of the person’s lungs.
How are the tuberculosis figures in Mexico?
According to figures from the Mexican government, there are three entities that lead in the number of contagious people per 100,000 inhabitants: Baja California (43 people per 100,000), Sonora and Sinaloa (24 cases per 100,000 people). While in Aguascalientes, Tlaxcala and the State of Mexico there are less than 3 cases per 100,000 people. The national rate in Mexico is located at 18 cases per 100,000.
Although mortality and tuberculosis infections in Mexico have decreased considerably since 1990, in 2018 there were more than 2 thousand deaths and a contagion rate of 1.6 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Both men and women tend to contract tuberculosis, however, the group with the highest registration is in people over 65 years of age, having Diabetes as the main comorbidity (27 percent), followed by hypertension (16 percent) and alcoholism (14 percent). Death rates in children are considerably lower than in adults, but deaths can be recorded.
Tuberculosis, compared to seasonal influenza, can occur throughout the year. In 2020, the number of infections decreased due to the concentration of doctors in caring for the covid-19 pandemic. The possible figures that will be available at the end of the year are still unknown.
What programs exist to reduce tuberculosis in Mexico?
According to the United Nations 2030 Agenda, Mexico should seek that in the next 10 years deaths are reduced by up to 90 percent compared to the deaths registered in 2015, seeking that the eradication rate is as close to 100 percent before 2040.
Tuberculosis is a disease that cannot be completely eradicated, due to the fact that other countries in the world still have high rates of infection.
Between commitments also there is reduction in incidence of up to 80 percent by 2030 and that the catastrophic cost of treatment in families must be eliminated, this with care in public health systems and their ease of access.