Complications of Tuberculosis Treatment and Prevention
Influence of COVID-19 pandemic on tuberculosis treatment and prevention
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the management of tuberculosis (TB) in several countries and health systems. It has affected the availability of anti-TB drugs, diagnostic services, and laboratory capacity. These changes result in a greater need for improved TB services and prevention programs. Therefore, a comprehensive response to COVID-19 must be implemented to minimize its adverse effects and ensure that the health system can accommodate future increases in the TB burden.
In Ethiopia, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted tuberculosis service indicators. The response to the epidemic has diverted resources from routine TB services. It has also disrupted supply chains, making access to diagnostic services complex for many TB patients. Some of these patients have also lost access to counseling activities.
The COVID-19 pandemic also impacts the immune system, vital for effective tuberculosis treatment and prevention. It also affects lung function and can result in respiratory failure and pneumonia. As such, it is essential to recognize and treat all cases of TB as early as possible to avoid the spread of the virus.
A skin test for tuberculosis can be an excellent way to determine if a person has the disease. This is done by injecting tuberculin into the skin, usually on the inside of the arm. If the skin test returns positive, the person has been exposed to tuberculosis bacteria and is infected. However, it is essential to note that a positive test does not always indicate active tuberculosis.
People at high risk for developing tuberculosis should visit a doctor for further examination and treatment. The doctor may recommend a course of antibiotics that are effective against TB bacteria. These medications are usually given for six to nine months. Taking these drugs regularly for the full recommended time frame will help reduce the risk of getting the disease again.
People with a weakened immune system are at greater risk of getting tuberculosis than healthy people. They are also prone to contracting tuberculosis in an area where TB disease is common. Additionally, people with certain medical conditions are at risk of contracting tuberculosis, such as HIV, or people living in nursing homes.
Tuberculosis is a severe disease that infects the lungs and is transmitted through the inhalation of infectious droplets. The risk of transmission depends on the bacterial load in the infected droplets, the length of exposure, and the individual’s immunity. Bacterial infection can remain latent in the body for years before reactivating. Therefore, patients must be diagnosed early to prevent the disease’s spread.
The World Health Organization tracks TB deaths and cases worldwide. Most TB cases are curable. However, TB can be fatal without proper treatment. This means that the medical community is facing a massive challenge in reducing the death toll from this disease. In the past decade, many improvements have been made in preventing and treating TB.
In addition to the prevention of active disease, there are also treatments available to treat latent TB. The most common form of preventive therapy is an antibiotic known as isoniazid, taken for six to nine months. During this period, the patient is not contagious and cannot transmit the disease.
Complications of tuberculosis treatment complications include various diseases that can affect the central nervous system. These include tuberculous meningitis, tuberculoma of the brain, spinal arachnoiditis, and longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). Tuberculous meningitis is the most common of these conditions, while other forms are rare.
Treatment for TB can be expensive, toxic, and lead to other complications. Among them is the development of drug resistance, which requires more extended, more expensive, and more complex treatment. Therefore, to reinforce India’s efforts to eradicate TB, it is critical to identify the risk factors associated with drug resistance. To do this, a cross-sectional study was conducted in two tertiary care hospitals in Kolkata. The study analyzed patients’ diagnoses, drug resistance, and socio-demographic characteristics with PTB.
Neurologic complications of tuberculosis are common, especially in the developing world. The most common complication of tuberculosis is meningitis, which is often associated with cranial nerve palsies. While the culture of the CSF is an essential step toward a tuberculous diagnosis, it is time-consuming and often harmful. PCR tests of the CSF can also be helpful in the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis.