ToBe Continued concert continues on the World Tuberculosis Day

On the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, a one-of-a-kind uninterrupted 24-hour concert will take place on 24 March. It will be broadcasted worldwide on the Internet.

Watch this free live stream concert titled ToBe Continued (sounds like TB for tuberculosis) on http://www.stazioneditopolo.it/24h-2017/index.html and enjoy musical genres for every taste – from experimental to modern sounds, from classical music to jazz and ethno beats, in form of successive half-hour mini concerts from midnight on 23 March to midnight 24 March, the entire World TB Day.

Watch creativity meet science in an attempt to raise awareness on tuberculosis and stop an outbreak of what is today a curable disease, though still ranking among the ten leading causes of death.

Musicians from Italy, Greece, Costa Rica, Canada, Austria, Belorussia, Argentina, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Mexico, Iran, Sweden, Latvia, France, China, Georgia, UK, Armenia, Thailand, New Zealand, Indonesia, Brazil, Ireland, USA and many other countries of the world will appear on this live stream stage. The entire music marathon will be recorded and made permanently available online, free of charge. The marathon recording is traditionally broadcasted every July at the international Topolove station  art festival  at the village of Topolo, Udine, on the Italian-Slovenian border.

24 March – World TB Day

According to the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report, in 2015 there were 6.1 million newly reported TB cases in the world, while estimates say that the actual number of new TB cases approximated 10.4 million. What raised concern was the fact that 10% new cases were children.  On account of estimated 1.8 million TB-related deaths in 2015, TB remains one of the ten most common global causes of death. Since, with timely diagnosis and suitable treatment, tuberculosis has extremely low death rate, this makes over a million needless deaths annually.

While global TB-related indicators have worsened in comparison to 2014 results, Croatia has maintained a favorable situation: in 2016, 450 new cases were reported, with an incidence of 10/100 000 population, which is no worse than in 2014. A hidden danger of lower incidence lies in lower awareness about M. tuberculosis as a potential causative agent and the resulting delayed diagnosis. As the average TB patient infects further 10-15 of his/her contacts annually, timely suspicion and prompt diagnosis are of utmost importance to prevent any further infection.

Tuberculosis most commonly spreads from a pulmonary TB patient to another person through aerosols produced when the infected person coughs, sneezes, sings or talks. The risk of an exposed person getting infected depends mostly on the intensity, frequency and duration of exposure to TB germs. Though tuberculosis can infect any organ in the body, the most common site is the lung. On the very first contact with TB bacteria, a primary infection develops with an accompanying lymphangitis and regional lymphadenitis, and is, in most cases, not recognized on time. In lung disease, non-specific symptoms manifest first, such as weight loss, fatigue, evening rise of temperature, night sweats and cough. In the beginning, the cough is not necessarily productive, but as the disease progresses, the sputum can become pussy or bloody. The patient usually goes to see his/her doctor on account of weak general condition alongside a history of weeks-long coughing.

Extrapulmonary tuberculosis generally develops by virtue of hematogenous dissemination of germs from the pulmonary site. Blood-borne microorganisms may cause TB of the pleura, urinary tract, lymph nodes, meninx, bone and other organs. Extrapulmonary manifestation is particularly common in HIV-positive patients, who suffer more frequently from disseminated and atypical clinical forms of tuberculosis. Clinical presentation of extrapulmonary TB depends on the very infection site and reflects how much an individual organ system has been affected, in addition to some non-specific symptoms appearing in the pulmonary disease as well. In pleural TB, the patient thus feels pain in the chest area when taking deep breaths or coughing, while symptoms of urinary infection appear in renal TB. It should be pointed out that symptoms in most TB sites are non-specific and, thus, easily missed.

Though it was believed one hundred years ago that vaccination would eradicate tuberculosis, to this day, unfortunately, TB remains the most common cause of death among infectious diseases. It is, consequently, essential to raise awareness about the dangers of TB, and even more so on the day when it is most talked about – World Tuberculosis Day, observed every year on 24 March. It was on this day in 1882 that physician Robert Koch astonished the local scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the causative agent of TB, a bacterium named Mycobacterium tuberculosis. International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease has proposed on the occasion of 100th anniversary of Koch’s amazing discovery to officially name 24 March the World TB Day, for the purpose of focusing attention on the significance of tuberculosis.

Despite the numerous programs aiming to eradicate TB, it is alarming to learn that one third of all TB patients are not getting health care. The ‘Sop TB’ initiative has on the occasion of the World TB Day presented a campaign titled “United against tuberculosis”. With the motto: “Can’t afford not to know about TB”, the aim of this initiative is to raise public awareness about the fact that though curable, TB still has the proportions of an epidemic, including great morbidity and mortality. Attempts are made on the global level to prevent the spread of TB through a chain of versatile actions from early detection to suitable treatment and follow-up.

It is important to make people understand that tuberculosis does not happen to somebody else, but rather that we all are at risk. It is, furthermore, vital, to shatter the stigma of TB patients and alleviate the burden they have to carry.