Tuberculosis rising after COVID-19 pandemic redirected services, say Canadian health officials – CBC

‘Huge rebound’ in TB deaths and cases in some areas, according to Canadian health officials

Apr 27, 2023

Canada’s longstanding efforts to reduce and eliminate tuberculosis suffered a setback as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Canadian health officials.

The ability to offer crucial services such as contact tracing, prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and care for tuberculosis were reduced as resources were redirected to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. Tom Wong, chief medical officer of public health for Indigenous Services Canada.

“All of those have contributed to, in some areas, stalling of the progress made or in some cases reversing the downward trend of TB,” Wong said.

Tuberculosis is a treatable and curable disease caused by bacteria that frequently affects the lungs, but can also live in other parts of the body. In Canada, it kills about five per cent of those infected. In 2020, 10 percent of active TB cases were resistant to TB drugs.

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