Amid concerns over a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have warned that there is a need for new interventions and tools to control the increasing pace of spread of tuberculosis (TB) and also improve the cure rate of the disease.
Ashok Mahasur, senior chest consultant, P.D. Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, said those with lower immunity are prone to develop tuberculosis and TB patients with low immunity may develop COVID-19 and this was inter-related. On the positive side, the use of masks during the pandemic has reduced cases of TB and chronic respiratory diseases. It is a useful tool to prevent spread of TB, he said.
The discussions were part of a webinar on ‘Eradicating Tuberculosis-The Clock is Ticking’ on Tuesday, organised as part of The Hindu Wellness Series presented by Macleods.
S.K. Katiyar, past president, Indian College of Chest Physicians and Indian Chest Society said there was a rise in new cases of TB every year.
He underlined the need for new interventions like vaccines and new drugs would help reduce burden of TB. Nearly 55% of the TB cases emerge due to malnutrition, which also hampers response to drugs, he said.
Shilpa Joshi, vice-president, Indian Dietetic Association, elaborated on the need to follow balanced nutritious diet post treatment.