Clinician outlines TB symptoms

The National, Wednesday July 6th, 2016

Tuberculosis spreads through the air and not by other means, Kaugere clinic manager Janet Pongone says.
Pongone said in her presentation to the Christian Brethren Churches of Papua New Guinea’s 5th National Youth Convention that TB is an airborne disease so people should know how to protect themselves from it.
“My aim here was to inform the participants about the signs and symptoms of TB, how to identify if someone has contracted TB,  where to look for help and how to prevent it,” Pongone said. “I see that this convention has brought in people from all over the country, even from the remote parts of PNG so I would like my messages and the information that I have given to be used as guidelines in combatting this disease.
“Some people misunderstood that TB is spread by sharing spoons, plates or cups.
“TB is airborne and spreads through the air so it is everyone’s business to reduce TB and talk about it,” Pongone said.
She said youths, children and adults were all at risk of getting TB and it was important for youths to be able to identify if someone had TB by knowing the symptoms.
Papua New Guinea has the highest rate of tuberculosis in the Pacific region, where 60 per cent of new cases originate, according to the World Health Organization. TB is transmitted when an infectious person coughs, sneezes or spits. This propels the TB germ or bacteria into the air and it may be inhaled by others. Only a small amount of bacteria needs to be inhaled for a person to catch the disease.