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EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328292

ABSTRACT

Tuberculosis (TB) is a severe global threat killing more than one million people annually (WHO). With a successful TB control programme in place, there has been a decrease in the number of TB cases and deaths globally over recent years. The World Health Organisation (WHO) End TB Strategy has been momentously shocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and it seems that any success made over recent years is likely to be reversed. We are now more than one year into the pandemic, and the effect COVID-19 has had on TB services is devastating. Hospitals typically dedicated to TB have been converted to COVID-19 hospitals and diagnostic laboratories focus on COVID-19 testing rather than TB. Delivery of TB care is being prioritised for people who have active TB disease whereas prevention and diagnosis of latent TB infection (LTBI) is being put on hold. This pause can lead to an increase in TB cases and transmission. Here, we discuss the connection between SARS-CoV-2 infection and latent TB and highlight the importance of TB prevention management in LTBI post-COVID-19 patients. Community engagement and contact tracing are of high importance in fighting TB in the post-COVID19 era. Getting back on track with TB progress is essential, thus further modelling on the COVID-19 impact on TB burden and its determinants is critical.

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