Coronavirus threatens success of tuberculosis treatment
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- In recent years, significant progress has been made in the fight against tuberculosis. However, WHO warns that this success is now in danger, because all resources, including money and specialists, are directed to containing COVID-19, Tagesschau (Germany) notes.
This is noticeable, for example, when registering tuberculosis diseases. In countries heavily affected by the coronavirus, countries such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the WHO report, tuberculosis infection coverage dropped to 30% in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019. WHO notes that this figure could rise sharply as the victims will no longer receive treatment.
According to WHO, progress in the fight against tuberculosis was achieved even before the start of the coronavirus pandemic: from 2015 to 2019 the spread of the disease decreased by 9%, and the number of deaths by 14%. Nevertheless, according to WHO, in 2019 about 10 million people were infected with tuberculosis, of which about 1.4 million died. It is especially dangerous that pathogens become resistant to conventional antibiotics.
According to expert estimates, from a quarter to a third of all people in the world are carriers of tuberculosis. In most people, the immune system is strong enough to fight off disease. However, starvation or malnutrition, as well as intense conflict stress or weakness due to other illnesses, all contribute to the proliferation of bacteria.
In the case of tuberculosis, the lungs are usually affected, but bacteria can also infect any other organ. The transmission occurs by airborne droplets. Symptoms include weakness, night sweats, weight loss, and coughing, as well as bloody phlegm.
Treatment is with a cocktail of antibiotics that must be taken over several months. Currently, there is no comprehensive vaccination.