Tuberculosis (TB) is on the rise in the City of Colombo, especially in Colombo North and Maligawatte, with 589 cases reported during the past eight months.
The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) said that one of the main reasons for the spreading was due to people with prolonged cough not seeking treatment or medical testing.
In 2013 there were 560 cases followed by 570 cases in 2014. Last year there were 667 cases. The CMC pointed out that the figure of 589 which included 65 new cases from Modara and Mattakkuliya and also three deaths, during the first eight months of the year would surpass last year’s total. In Maligawatte, there are 40 cases including 28 from the flats.

Chief Medical Officer of Health of the CMC, Dr. R.L. de S. Wijayamuni outlined that people should be vigilant and seek treatment for phlegm as if neglected the disease becomes exposed where the TB germ in the lung cavity is open to the bronchi or windpipe (air-pipe).

In the aforementioned areas, the population density is high and the socio-economic conditions are poor. This is a disease of the urban setup. Cities are unique in this regard. Ventilation, nutrition and immunity also play a role.

“If one has diabetes or is human immunodeficiency virus positive in which case one’s immunity is compromised or is receiving treatment for cancer or if one is undergoing or has undergone a kidney transplantation or is immune-resistant, then one is more susceptible to TB which can be active or remain latent,” he said.

TB resulting from the infection of the bacterium mycobacterium tuberculosis cannot be diagnosed without the conducting of a sputum test or a chest x-ray. There is chest or pulmonary TB and TB outside the lung. There is also productive phlegm or productive blood.

He claimed that TB has gone unreported.