About 315 cases of tuberculosis are diagnosed in Panama in the first months of 2018

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  • Wed, 03/28/2018 - 18:01
  • OMS

The Ministry of Health of Panama (Minsa) reported today that 315 cases of tuberculosis (TB) have been diagnosed so far this year, with a greater incidence in the county areas and in the metropolitan region of the country.

In 2016, 1,678 cases were registered and 2017 closed with a total of 1,896 diagnoses, an increase of 12.9 percent.

Nationwide, the mortality from tuberculosis oscillates around 5 percent, and the incidence at 40 percent, that is, 40 cases out of 100,000 inhabitants.

At a meeting held in Panama to commemorate the International Day of Tuberculosis with the participation of Minsa, the Social Security Fund and the Pan American Health Organization carried out activities to raise population’s awareness about the diagnosis and treatment of the illness.

The general director of Public Health, Itza Barahona de Mosca highlighted that tuberculosis is an infectious disease that has a cure and that state facilities have laboratories to perform the necessary tests at no cost.

"Tuberculosis is diagnosed, treatment is free for a minimum of six months and for up to two years depending on the type of tuberculosis," said the Panamanian doctor.

The national head of the Tuberculosis Program, Dr. Edwin Aizpurúa, said that the country has technological equipment for diagnosis, such as the tool that uses a technique that detects tuberculosis DNA through the polymerase chain reaction method (PCR).

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that mainly attacks the lungs but can damage other organs of the body.

This disease is spread through the air when a person with pulmonary TB coughs, sneezes or speaks. Its main symptoms can include severe cough for more than three weeks, weight loss, coughing or spitting up blood or mucus, weakness or fatigue, fevers or chills and night sweats, said the Ministry. ACAN-EFE

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