covid: 240 Covid-recovered persons, relatives found infected by tuberculosis in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The state government’s active case finding initiative to detect tuberculosis infection among Covid-19 recovered persons and their household contacts has resulted in a total of 240 persons testing positive for TB.
As both Covid and tuberculosis affect the lungs, TB testing of Covid-recovered persons and their kin began in Karnataka in August.
The initiative has led to initiation of early treatment in all these patients, who would have otherwise been treated for long Covid or left untreated, say health department authorities. If not detected, all 240 would have potentially spread the bacterium to others. Of them, 151 were Covid-recovered persons and 89 household contacts of the infected. They were all cases of pulmonary TB, the infection didn’t spread to other parts of the body and there were no deaths. However, most of those who tested positive showed no signs of TB, officials said.
Getting TB after having recovered from Covid with no symptoms is a worrying sign, said Dr Ramesh Reddy, joint director, TB prevention, health and family welfare department. “The results were shocking for the patients and their families. Most of these patients were on steroids and had battered lungs during their treatment period,” he added.
The survey also proved that TB is not rampantly seen among Covid-recovered persons, said Dr Reddy, adding that officials on the ground had expected more than 1% of Covid-recovered persons to turn positive for TB, whereas in reality it was less than that.
As per the data accessed by TOI, over 8 lakh Covid-recovered persons were screened for TB, along with 26.6 lakh of their household members. Three or four family members of every recovered person were screened.
The department’s TB detection campaign began on August 16 among those who had tested positive for Covid between January and June 2021. A majority of them were those who survived Covid after the second wave. Though the prevalence of TB is more among Covid-recovered persons compared to their kin as per the state data, it’s the other way round in some districts with highest prevalence.
The highest number of TB cases during the surveillance was seen in Bengaluru city with 52 testing positive. Twenty five of them were Covid-recovered persons and 27 household contacts. However, in Chitradurga, where 13 TB cases were detected, all infected had suffered from Covid. Dr Reddy said health personnel involved in TB tracing among Covid-recovered persons had to bear with public resistance.
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Sagar Biswas

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