Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease. More than 2 billion people, equal to one third of the world's population, are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB. One in 10 people infected with TB bacilli will become sick with active TB in their lifetime.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to asses the pattern of TB in our setup and the impact of various factors on the disease spread and control.
Methods: This is a retrospective study including all cases of tuberculosis diagnosed, referred, treated, and cured from year 2005 to 2009 in Hera General Hospital, Makkah.
Results: Of a total of 316 cases, 191 cases were pulmonary and 125 cases were extrapulmonary. Most of the patients were young, with a mean age of 34.44 years and an SD of 17.087. Females of reproductive age outnumbered the males in both pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis, that is, 57.8% versus 42.2% and 72.4% versus 27.6%. Interestingly, the number of cases showed a sawtooth pattern from year to year. Lymph node tuberculosis was the most common form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Only 23% of the cases were smear positive and 20% of the cases were defaulters; only 66% of the cases were declared as cured.
Conclusions: Tuberculosis was most common in young adult population, especially the females. Low smear positivity is indicative of less emphasis on sputum testing method due to a cultural custom of not producing sputum especially by females. The year-to-year change of pattern and resurgence of the cases show a need for commitment for directly observed therapy, short course; education; and awareness about the stigmatized disease. Also, a need to assess the impact of pilgrims year-round from all over the world on the spread and perpetuation of this dreaded contagious disease is crucial, which is negligible in the local community.