COVID partly to blame for global rise in TB cases – NBC4 Washington

According to a report published on Thursday World Health Organization.

The United Nations health agency reported that more than 10 million people worldwide had tuberculosis in 2021, a 4.5% increase from the previous year. According to him, about 1.6 million people died. The WHO said about 450,000 cases were infected with drug-resistant TB, a 3% increase from 2020.

Dr. Mel Spiegelman, president of the nonprofit TV Alliance, said more than a decade of progress was lost when COVID-19 hit in 2020.

“Despite advances in areas such as preventive therapy, we still fall behind on virtually every promise and goal for TB,” Spiegelman said.

WHO also blamed COVID-19 for much of the rise in TB, saying the pandemic “continues to have a devastating impact on access to TB diagnosis and treatment.” It said progress made up to 2019 had since “slowed, stopped or reversed”.

What preventive measures can you take to avoid RSV? The CDC recommends washing your hands and avoiding close contact with others.

With fewer people being diagnosed with the highly contagious disease, more patients are unknowingly spreading TB to others in outbreaks that may have gone unnoticed in countries with weak health systems.

The WHO reported that the number of people newly diagnosed with tuberculosis fell from 7 million in 2019 to 5.8 million in 2020.

The WHO also said that restrictions related to COVID-19, including lockdowns and physical distancing protocols, are also hampering TB treatment services and may have caused some people to avoid visiting health facilities for fear of contracting the coronavirus. Officials added that the downturn in the global economy was also a factor, saying that about half of all TB patients and their families face “catastrophic total costs” from their treatment. WHO has called for more countries to cover all costs of TB diagnosis and treatment.

After COVID-19, tuberculosis is the deadliest infectious disease in the world. It is caused by bacteria that usually affect the lungs. Germs are mostly spread from person to person through the air, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Tuberculosis mainly affects adults, especially those who are malnourished or have other diseases such as HIV; more than 95% of cases occur in developing countries.

According to a WHO report, only one in three people with drug-resistant tuberculosis receives treatment.

“Drug-resistant TB is curable, but alarmingly, the number of cases is increasing for the first time in years,” said Dr Hannah Spencer, who works with Doctors Without Borders in South Africa. “There is an urgent need to scale up shorter, safer and more effective treatments.”

Spencer called for reducing the price of tuberculosis treatment so that a full course of treatment would cost no more than $500.

WHO also said that ongoing conflicts in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East have worsened opportunities for patients seeking TB diagnosis and treatment.

Ukraine had one of the world’s worst tuberculosis epidemics even before Russia invaded the country in February. Health experts fear that the failure of patients to receive treatment could contribute to the rise of drug-resistant tuberculosis across the region.

While TB patients displaced by the war can seek medical care in Ukraine, the country is experiencing shortages of key medicines and authorities are facing patient registration challenges.

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