Pulmonary tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The person can contact it by inhaling air droplets from a sneeze or a cough of an infected individual. This medical condition is known as primary tuberculosis.
Dr. Mini Khetrapal, TB officer, Mumbai, said, "bacteria that cause tuberculosis are present in the infected person's spit for a long time. Thus, they are told to follow a hygienic routine which includes not spitting in public and covering their mouth when coughing."
Dr. Om Shrivastav, Director of the department of infectious diseases at Jaslok Hospital, said, "Many countries enforce social discipline like 'no spitting' and it is strictly followed. If we bring a little discipline among ourselves, we will go a long way in bringing down TB and other diseases."
While the problem of treatment of TB still persists in the country, the cause of TB should be eradicated first to ensure that the number of victims comes down.
One of the worst offenders of public spitting are drivers of vehicles and tobacco-chewing public and no matter what the fine or warning, the habit goes unrestrained.
While smoking in public places has taken off of late, the public spitting still remains a menace and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat campaign has included it in the agenda but no concrete effort has been made so far to curb it.
Maharashtra Health minister Deepak Sawant recently said, "Anti-spitting rules will be implemented soon in Mumbai with more stringent norms. We are checking whether to bring in a new legislation or amend the existing one in the next session."
A law against spitting in public places is already in existence and in Mumbai, the BMC acts against people who spit in public. But it is not that effective.
The law should be made more effective and stringent, to push for the implementation of the prohibitory acts.
"We will also check if we can suspend driving licence of a taxi or auto driver who spits in public places like roads," he hinted.
The Central TB Division show that India has the highest burden of TB with two million cases reported every year.
WHO's Global Tuberculosis Report also underscored the fact saying that India has the second highest MDR-TB burden in the world with an estimated 64,000 cases in 2012.
Out of them, only 14,000 people with MDR-TB have access to the treatment to stay alive, said they need to stay alive, Dr Simon Janes, medical coordinator with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in India.