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It has been said often the old advice “When you go out, bring a handkerchief with you.” But if you can’t, better push inside your pocket, or tuck in your purse or bag disposable surgical mask for use against contagious airborne disease. It is tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases that is the first in the list of killers of mankind.

As soon as we step down from our homes, smoke, smug, and dust fervently welcome us. Embedded in all these innocent looking elements are toxic and virulent bacteria and viruses of all kinds. Dust particles contain excreta of dust mite which is very tiny to be able to enter the body through inhaling. This initiates allergic respiratory reaction which causes asthma, influenza, colds, and even generates the onset of pneumonia.

Students or non-students, onsite workers or office employees are possible victims of respiratory disease and even tuberculosis, which in 2007 there were 13.7 million chronic cases, 9.3 million further cases, and 1.8 million deaths occurring mostly in poorer countries and having less advanced industries especially Africa, Latin America and Asia. Medical students learn in school that tuberculosis begins to spread when a person with the diseases coughs and sneezes. Those around or near him contract the disease unwarily.

The Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute of the University of Delhi is one school that offers courses such as Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases and Diploma in Tuberculosis & Chest Diseases. The school also provides programs in different specialties that relate to chest diseases, and the advancement of the up-to-the-minute diagnostic technology. The Lala Ram Swarup Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases offer a three-year graduate course on Respiratory Medicine; the Rostov State Medical University with nearly 400 foreign students annually who receive the degree of science offer other degree courses and programs such as Medicine, Surgery, Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology, etc.

Other schools where a student could take up the course on Tuberculosis & Respiratory Disease: University of Delhi, Bukovinian State Medical University, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Sichuan University in China, Barts and the London School of Medicine, and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Syllabus is: Theoretical Knowledge, Clinical Skills, Practical Skills, Management of Medical Emergencies, and Preparation of a dissertation. Subjects from the first year to the last year are: Applied Basic sciences to pulmonary medicine; Paper I-Tuberculosis (Pulmonary and Extrapulmonary); Paper II-Non tuberculosis Respiratory diseases; and Paper III-Recent advances in respiratory medicine. After finishing the course, the graduate is conferred the degree and Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases, or the Diploma in Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases.

The student of Tuberculosis & Respiratory Disease learns that when a person with a fallen immune system receives the bacteria, the microorganism could enter the respiratory system and can even spread to other organs. People with lowered immune system are those who have AIDS or HIV, elders, and those that have other diseases. Tuberculosis bacteria spreads from the infected lungs to the kidneys, spine, to the Meninges (tissue that covers the brain), the female reproductive organs (mother can transmit the disease to the unborn child), and other organs of the body. The spreading bacteria if uncontained and untreated are fatal and could lead to death.

Students learn the symptoms of tuberculosis. These are loss of weight and appetite; fever, and sweating at night; coughing that lasts three or more weeks (breathing or coughing is painful and shortness of breath); faintness of muscle; feeling exhausted and worn out; swollen neck (infection of the lymph nodes); prickly and stinging in the hands and or feet. Tuberculosis does not omit young or old, does not select race or gender, or level of income. Tuberculosis causes death to people who 1. are working or living with other people that have tuberculosis; 2. people who are not given medical care; 3. people from countries where tuberculosis is widespread; 4. people with no homes; 5. people (old and ailing) who live in caring homes and receiving up keeping and medical treatment; 6. people who drink too much alcohol, and use intravenous injections; 7. people who are immune deficient; 8. health givers who are often in close dealings with residents that have a high degree of exposure to the disease; 8. the aged.

Tuberculosis, as the medical students know, may have been a closer kin to other respiratory disease such as pneumonia (next respiratory killer to TB) and lung cancer (welcoming recipients are heavy cigarettes smokers, and workers in hazard-polluted environment) with very slight disparity. Like tuberculosis, asthma and other diseases of the respiratory system need long-term medical treatment, whereas colds, influenza (highly contagious disease of the lungs), and allergies, although have no cure, typically do not pose danger to life.

In the course of the study, there are medicines for tuberculosis such as antibiotics, but these medicines do not cure diseases caused by viruses. Cold virus does not succumb to antibiotics and even to vaccine. As to date, no vaccine has been developed as safeguard against colds. Doctor’s attention and medication are necessary when there is onset of tuberculosis and other respiratory disease.

After graduation, job placement is not difficult to seek. He can get job from different private and government clinical centers, hospitals, and schools.

Graduates of the course can pursue career in laboratory hospitals or clinics as diagnostic or laboratory technicians.