Tuberculosis: expert urges Nigerians to go for check-up

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Dr Cajetan Onyedum of Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, has urged Nigerians to always go for medical check if their cough persists for two weeks.

Onyedum, who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, Enugu State Chapter, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu.

He said that this had become necessary so as to find out the cause of their cough adding that if it turned out to be Tuberculosis (TB), it would be treated to avoid complications and spread to others.

According to him, TB is a serious ailment which if left untreated can be fatal. Although it mainly affects the lungs, but can also spread through the blood, causing complications, such as meningitis and liver problem.

He explained that tuberculosis was caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium, and it spread through the air when an infected person coughed, sneezed or even spat.

Onyedum further explained that people with compromised immune systems such as those living with HIV were most at risk of developing active TB.

According to him, HIV suppresses the immune system, making it harder for the body to control TB bacteria.

He said that living in well ventilated rooms, covering the mouth when coughing, avoiding people that were infected would help to minimize the risk of the bacteria from spreading to other people.