Post-Covid, tuberculosis cases among young population increasing in Delhi

In fact, the national capital has reported more TB cases this month so far (4,747) compared to Covid-19 cases (4,007).

Published: 24th March 2022 08:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2022 08:41 AM   |  A+A-

tuberculosis

Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, tuberculosis (TB) cases in Delhi have been going up and even more worrying is the trend of young population getting infected. Doctors in the city have noted a significant increase in TB in people between the ages of 18 to 29 years. 

According to the data from the Central Tuberculosis Division under Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, TB cases in Delhi have increased by 11,421 or 13% in the last one year. A total of 87,062 cases were recorded from 22 March, 2020, to 22 March, 2021, while in the next one year (22 March, 2021 to 22 March, 2022), the number increased to 98,483. 

In fact, the national capital has reported more TB cases this month so far (4,747) compared to Covid-19 cases (4,007).   Doctors attribute the rise in TB cases to delayed diagnosis and weakened immune systems.
“There has been around 25-30 per cent increase in tuberculosis patients, especially after the Covid wave. This is due to delayed diagnosis and also due to spread among families and communities as patients didn’t move outside the house for diagnosis. Multiple members of the same family were found to be positive,” said Dr Vikas Maurya, Director and HoD, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Shamilar Bagh.

He said that dysregulated immunity in patients with Covid-19 and anti-inflammatory drugs used in its treatment have also been found to be associated with the reactivation of TB cases. Another factor is the presence of co-morbidities especially diabetes, heart diseases, chronic lung and kidney diseases and cancer.
According to Dr Akshay Budhraja, Senior Consultant, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, at Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka, more than 50 instances of TB in youngsters have been seen in the last three months. 
“Since tuberculosis is an airborne infection, TB bacteria are discharged into the air when a person with infection coughs or sneezes. Basic ventilation, natural light and good hygiene behaviour such as covering the mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing lowers the chances of infection. More importantly, the best form of defence against TB is a robust immune system. About 60% of people with a good immune system can totally eradicate TB bacteria,” said Dr Budhraja.



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