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Tuberculosis is making a comebeack due to coronavirus | COVID-19 Special

DW, 24 Mar 2021
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has had unprecedented negative effects on global health and economies, drawing attention and resources from many other public health services. It's setting back years of progress in the battle against other diseases. The coronavirus crisis has seen a 25% decrease in diagnosis and treatment of tubercolosis in South Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines. Health officials say it's time to fight tuberculosis again. To minimize negative effects, the parallels, lessons, and resources from existing public health programs need to be identified and used. Often underappreciated synergies relating to COVID-19 are with tuberculosis (TB). COVID-19 and TB share commonalities in transmission and public health response: case finding, contact identification, and evaluation. Like COVID-19 Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is usually transmitted from person to person by inhaling infectious aerosols. It primarily affects the lungs, but can also occur in any other organ. Data supporting interventions for either disease are, understandably, vastly different, given the diseases' different histories. However, many of the evolving issues affecting these diseases are increasingly similar. As previously done for TB, all aspects of congregate investigations and preventive and therapeutic measures for COVID-19 must be prospectively studied for optimal evidence-based interventions. New attention garnered by the pandemic can ensure that knowledge and investment can benefit both COVID-19 response and traditional public health programs such as TB programs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 10 million people develop tuberculosis every year. Around 1.4 million people die each year as a result of the disease, often due to inadequate treatment. (Source WHO, 2020). This makes tuberculosis, although treatable, the most common bacterial infectious disease that leads to death worldwide. Around 85% of all newly infected people live in Africa and Southeast Asia, with India, Indonesia and China particularly affected.


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