Govt gets its act together as Kolkata tops in number of TB cases in state

According to the data available with the health department, Kolkata’s number of TB patients in 2022 increased four-fold as compared to the number of infected patients in 2016.
Image used for illustrative purposes only. (Express illustrations)
Image used for illustrative purposes only. (Express illustrations)

KOLKATA:  Kolkata recorded the highest number of patients infected with tuberculosis (TB) in the state last year, posing as a major concern for the West Bengal health department officials. According to the data available with the health department, Kolkata’s number of TB patients in 2022 increased four-fold as compared to the number of infected patients in 2016.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) identified seven pockets across the city, where large number of shanties is located, likely to be a hot spot of the TB cases reported. According to the data, from January 1 and December 31 in 2022, a total of 12,829 people were infected with TB and 272 died. 

“Not only controlling the spread of TB but curbing death due to the disease is also a major challenge to us,” said an official of the state health department. After Kolkata, Murshidabad and North 24 Parganas districts are at the second and third position respectively in terms number of TB-infected patients. 

“Malnutrition, smoking and working in manufacturing units with high pollution-level are the main causes behind bacterial disease. We generally observe a surge in this disease in backward districts like Purulia, Bankura, Murshidabad and West Midnapore because of acute malnutrition problems there. But the record showing Kolkata’s picture is alarming,” said another official. 

The KMC has already started a survey to identify the source of the bacterial disease. “If we can identify the source of the disease, the job of controlling it will become easier,” said a health department official.

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