Study: Tuberculosis Will Kill Additional 1.4 Million This Year Due to Global Lockdowns

Study: Tuberculosis Will Kill Additional 1.4 Million This Year Due to Global Lockdowns

After months of lockdowns the evidence of their unintended consequences is piling up.

A paper published in the Lancet last month found that lockdowns had caused an additional 10,000 deaths of children every month, and caused another 550,000 to become severely malnourished.

According to a new study, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because lockdowns exacerbated the spread of tuberculosis, the biggest infectious-disease killer on the planet (which kills 1.5 million people annually). While progress has been made each year in reducing tuberculosis deaths, they’re set to skyrocket this year by an amount greater than the total number of global coronavirus deaths (so far).

According to a summary of the study from Unbiased America:

A new study estimates that there will be an additional 6.3 million cases of tuberculosis and 1.4 million more tuberculosis (TB) deaths because of worldwide coronavirus restrictions.

According to an article in today’s New York Times: “It’s not just that the coronavirus has diverted scientific attention from TB, H.I.V. and malaria. The lockdowns, particularly across parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, have raised insurmountable barriers to patients who must travel to obtain diagnoses or drugs”.

These numbers dwarf COVID deaths. In India, for example, there have been 38,000 COVID deaths. But the COVID lockdowns and restrictions will result in an increase of more than 500,000 tuberculosis deaths there.

The reason for the rapid increase in TB deaths is because of how infectious it can be when not diagnosed. Each person with undiagnosed TB can spread the disease to another 15 individuals over a year. And without proper treatment, 45% of people with TB on average (and nearly all HIV-positive people with TB) will die.

“The starting point in this ruinous chain of events is a failure to diagnose,” the Times piece says. And since 80% of tuberculosis programs worldwide have reported disruptions in services due to coronavirus restrictions, the number TB cases being caught is down drastically.

In India (responsible for a quarter of the world’s tuberculosis cases), diagnoses have dropped 75% since the pandemic. Mexico has seen a 75% decline, Indonesia a 70% decline, Mozambique and South Africa a 50% decline, and China a 20% decline.

 

 

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