Tuberculosis has been prevalent in our world, but it has also carried with it many myths that are not actually true. It’s important to be an informed citizen, so the following is a list of five myths surrounding Tuberculosis.
1) Tuberculosis is hereditary
Wrong! Despite the myth saying otherwise, it’s just not true. Tuberculosis is an airborne disease and anyone can contract it. In fact, everyday things such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, and singing can release tiny particles that are infected, which is then breathed in by another person, who then gets infected themselves. (Source: lungchicago.org)
2) People don’t get it anymore
Please, don’t be naive! Just because scientific advances have been amazing in treating and curing diseases and illnesses, it does not mean we are safe from everything, TB included! In fact, in 2009 there were roughly 11,000 cases of Tuberculosis in the U.S alone. The good news, though, is that scientific advances have made TB curable–but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anymore. (source: southernnevadahealthdistrict.org)
3) TB is only capable of attacking the lungs
Wrong! Although the most common type of Tuberculosis is Pulmonary, there is another kind of TB that is extra-pulmonary. In other words, this second kind can affect the brain, kidney, spine, and a host of other things. So, this myth does tell part of the truth; namely, that it does, attack the lungs. However, the other part of the truth is missing; Extra-pulmonary TB can affect a lot more than just lungs. (source: southernnevadahealthdistrict.org)
4) TB is very, very infectious
Truth: TB can be infectious. False: It is very infectious. In order to be infected by a person with TB, there was to be prolonged exposure, and more often than not, it has to be within a closed and unventilated space. If a TB positive person is outside, most of the germs get diluted or swept away. (source: tbfreeworld.org)
5) TB is a poor person’s disease
If you’re poor, don’t worry about TB creeping up on you, punishing your for your lack of money. The fact is, TB does not pay attention to your economic class. A person with TB can be rich, poor, or in middle class; a child, adult, American, etc. can all contract Tuberculosis. (source: Floridahealth.gov)
As people living in an age of information, we do not have many excuses for coming up with or even believing the myths surrounding Tuberculosis. People who are infected by TB deserve love and support; they do not need to be shunned, stereotyped, and outcasts of society. Tuberculosis has been vastly misunderstood, but fortunately many of the myths are being exposed for what they are.