Tuberculosis Screening for all Covid-19 Positive Patients
Medikoe Health Expert
Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru Jul 29, 2021
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recommended Tuberculosis (TB) screening for every COVID-19 positive patient and COVID-19 screening for every diagnosed TB patient.
According to a release by the Union Health Ministry:
- There have been a few media reports claiming that a sudden rise in cases of TB has been seen among patients who were infected with COVID-19 recently, leaving the health experts bothered about getting around a dozen similar cases every day.
- States/UTs have been claimed for convergence in efforts for better monitoring and case finding of TB and COVID-19 as early as possible.
- Apart from this, various advisories and guidance have also been published by MoHFW to re-emphasise the need for bi-directional screening of TB-COVID and TB-ILI/SARI. The States/ UTs have been performing the same.
- Due to the influence of COVID-19 related restrictions, case information for TB had reduced by about 25 per cent in 2020, but special efforts are being made to alleviate this impact through increased case finding in OPD settings as well as through active case finding campaigns in the population by all States.
- Moreover, there is not sufficient proof currently to imply that there has been a rise in TB cases due to COVID-19 or due to progressed case finding efforts.
- The dual morbidity of TB and COVID-19 can be moreover highlighted through the fact that both the conditions are known to be infectious or contagious and essentially attack the lungs, showing similar signs of cough, fever and trouble in breathing, although TB has a prolonged incubation period and a slower onset of disease.
- Additionally, TB bacilli can be found in humans in a dormant state and have the potential to begin multiplying when the individual’s immunity is imperilled for any reason. The same is relevant in post COVID scenarios, when an individual may acquire reduced immunity due to the virus itself or due to the treatment, particularly immune-suppressants like steroids.
- SARS-CoV-2 infection can make a person more susceptible to contracting active TB disease, as TB is an opportunistic disease like black fungus.
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