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World Tuberculosis Day 2020: TB in the time of the Coronavirus

Commemorated every year on 24 March, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is aimed at raising awareness about the devastating health, economic and social consequences of Tuberculosis (TB).

This year, World TB day is being commemorated under the theme ‘It’s Time’ – signifying a need to accelerate the response to TB. 

It has become even more critical to maintain and safeguard prevention, treatment and care for TB patients especially with the global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). One may wonder what the link is between TB and COVID-19. The most obvious similarity is that symptoms of both include fever and coughing. Doctors Without Borders on their official website caution that while not everyone who has TB is at risk, the risk of COVID-19 infection is higher for those with pulmonary TB or any damage to their lungs.

Tips for protecting yourself from in the time of COVID-19:

  • For TB patients on treatment, continue to take all your medication now more than ever.
  • Always use tissues to catch your cough or sneeze. Throw them in a bin once done and wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds as often as possible with soap and water or use sanitiser. Do this especially once you get home or to work, after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, handling or eating.  
  • Avoid touching any part of your face with unwashed hands.

Additional information sourced from: thetruthabouttb.org and doctorswithoutborders.org.