After over a decade, global tuberculosis (TB) fatalities for the first time increased in 2020 due to the global health crisis, which is the tenacious COVID-19 pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in a recent report. In 2020, 1.5 million fatalities were recorded to have died of TB. This is a rise from the 1.4 million deaths from bacterial illness the previous year.
First Time Since 2005
Since 2005, it is the first time that the number was bolstered in the year-over-year of tuberculosis fatalities across the globe. According to health experts, the number of medical resources invested into the novel coronavirus last year in 2020 and the disturbance in medical treatment during the coronavirus pandemic is the root of the rise.
The World’s Biggest Infectious Disease Killer Until COVID-19 Arrived
According to the WHO in a statement also on Thursday, tuberculosis was the globe’s largest infectious disease killer before the current virus ravaging the world arrived. The trend of the number of increasing deaths is predicted to aggravate in 2021 and 2022.
The report confirmed the word of caution from the United Nations public health agency and other global health organizations that the COVID-19 outbreak 19 would overturn years of progress against other infectious illnesses. Such include HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.
HIV-Positive People Who Died From Tuberculosis
The individuals who died from TB in 2020 involved 214,000 HIV-positive people. The rise in such deaths transpired mostly in the 30 nations with the highest burden of TB in 2020 compared to 2019, reported The Economic Times.
Effect of Lockdowns
According to also WHO’s 2021 Global TB report, lockdowns had also disrupted the access of numerous people to essential health care services. This was prior to the WHO releasing extra warning that the toll of fatalities from the illness is greater in 2021 and 2022, indicated by the most recent predictions.
The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated the WHO’s report confirms their concerns that the disturbance of essential health services due to the pandemic may overturn years of positive development to combat tuberculosis. He added this is appalling news that should be regarded as a worldwide wake-up call to the immediate need for innovation and investments to close the loopholes in the diagnosis, care, and treatment for the impacted millions, reported ZEE 5.