March 24th marks World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. TB is an infectious bacterial disease which affects the lungs and can be spread through a simple cough or sneeze.
Anyone who comes into contact with an individual infected with the tuberculosis bacteria is at risk of developing the disease.
If you are infectious, protect yourself and others as follows:
– Wash your hands after sneezing, coughing or holding your hands near your mouth or nose
– Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough, sneeze or laugh
– Discard used tissues in a plastic bag, then seal and throw it away
– Do not attend work or school
– Avoid close contact with others
– Sleep in a room away from other family members
– Ventilate your room regularly as TB spreads in small closed spaces
People who are in poor health are more susceptible to the disease, thus the key is to lead a healthy lifestyle. The following simple lifestyle changes could boost your immune system and help fight off the tuberculosis bacteria:
– Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat. Avoid fatty, sugary and processed foods
– Exercise often, at least 3 to 4 times a week. Try to incorporate some good cardiovascular exercise into your workouts, such as running, swimming or rowing
– Cut down on alcohol consumption and avoid smoking or taking drugs
– Get plenty of good quality sleep, ideally between 7 and 8 hours a night
– Maintain good personal hygiene and try to spend as much time as possible outdoors, in the fresh air
With approximately a third of the world’s population infected with the bacteria, the importance of educating yourself, being responsible, and implementing the self-care tips mentioned above is imperative.