In view of a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Karnataka will launch a drive to check the spread of Tuberculosis (TB) that might hit Covid patients post recovery, an official said here on Monday.
According to a statement released by the health department, doctors have been witnessing a rise in the number of TB cases and that too predominantly among Covid patients post recovery.
“We are launching a door-to-door survey to detect the four common symptoms of TB. Our team of healthcare and ASHA workers will carry out an active case survey by visiting each house with Covid patients,” said the statement.
According to the note, even the Union Health Ministry had in 2020 recommended TB screening for all Covid patients.
“The survey will be conducted from the PHC level and the houses of all Covid-recovered patients will be visited, and their family members, primary and secondary contacts will be identified and screened for TB,” the statement said.
TB is an endemic in India and during prolonged intermittent lockdowns since March last year, many people could not consult doctors despite developing symptoms.
In many cases, people also confused the symptoms of TB with Covid as both the communicable diseases are infectious in nature, which primarily attack the lungs.
They present similar symptoms of cough, fever and difficulty in breathing, although TB has a longer incubation period and a slower onset time.
The prevalence of TB among Covid patients has been found to be 0.37-4.47 per cent in different studies.
Covid could make an individual more susceptible to developing TB, as the latter is an opportunistic infection like the black fungus.
According to the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination, a government programme that aims to eliminate the disease in India by 2025, TB kills an estimated 4.8 lakh Indians every year or more than 1,400 every day.