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Similarities And Differences Between Tuberculosis And COVID-19

COVID-19 vs TB: COVID-19 can provisionally be diagnosed on the basis of symptoms and confirmed with an RT-PCR or nucleic acid testing of infected secretions. Along with these test a Chest X-Ray also suggested by a few doctors based on the severity of symptoms.

Similarities And Differences Between Tuberculosis And COVID-19

COVID-19 and TB are different in terms of severity of symptoms

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Cough and cold in TB persists for longer
  2. In COVID-19 the durati of such symptoms is comparatively not that longer
  3. Similarity in symptoms of Covid-19 and TB leads to fear and apprehensions

India in its long fight towards an awareness on TB has come a long way, but still struggles to eradicate the disease completely. Tuberculosis is a communicable disease and various health, government and non-governmental companies work towards an awareness on the same. With COVID-19 coming in, approximately 1.4 million fewer people received care for TB in 2020, reports a national daily. The global lockdowns and restrictions couldn't allow people to visit for preventive health checks and hence the current rate of people suffering or have suffered TB is very high.

As COVID-19 and TB share numerous symptoms in common, it made it difficult for people to identify the actual disease. Only with the help of medical experts, people came out to know that symptoms like cough and cold in TB persists for longer, whereas in COVID-19 the tenure of such symptoms is comparatively not that longer.

The similarity in symptoms of COVID-19 and TB lead to a lot fear and apprehension in people that stopped them from coming in for testing. This affected the real data of diagnosis and led to a rise in number of TB patients. Additionally, restrictions due the pandemic people faced a lot of delay in receiving the treatment. Let us try and understand the difference between COVID-19 and TB based on their symptoms and their tenure.


Also read: Know Risk Factors And Preventive Measures For Tuberculosis

Symptoms of TB

Any person with latent or inactive TB, will have no symptoms. The person may still have a TB infection but the bacteria in the body, till then in body is not causing harm. Symptoms of active TB include:

  • A cough that lasts for more than three weeks
  • Persistent mild fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills
  • Night Sweats
  • Coughing blood or mucus is a sign of TB in lungs
  • Bone pains may signal towards the bacteria invading the bones

Diagnosis of TB

Doctors start with collecting the patient history on visiting him/her with any of such symptoms. They will conduct a physical diagnosis by listening to your lungs through their stethoscope. Additionally, on diagnosing TB they will order for a skin or blood test. Basis the result, the final reports come in.

Also read: 7 Guidelines To Follow For Avoiding The Spread Of TB

Symptoms of Covid-19

COVID-19 affect different people in different ways. Here are a few common symptoms shown by majority of affected people:

  • Dry cough
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Body ache
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea

Diagnosis of COVID-19

It can provisionally be diagnosed on the basis of symptoms and confirmed with an RT-PCR or nucleic acid testing of infected secretions. Along with these test a Chest X-Ray also suggested by a few doctors based on the severity of symptoms.

As it is evident that both TB and Covid-19 have some symptoms in common, but basis the duration and the severity of symptoms it can be a little easier to differentiate between the two. For TB, the cough lasts for more than three weeks and patients complain of on and off fever. Whereas, in COVID-19 people majorly complain of dry cough and it reduces with the recovery from the virus.

For treating TB, patients are given a treatment and medication for 6 months basis their symptoms. Moreover, TB doesn't come immediately it takes months to develop and show symptoms in people. People are highly suggested to not ignore their preventive health checks and timely diagnosis of any symptoms faced, as any disease being timely diagnosed can be treated better.

Also read: COVID-19: Expert Elaborates On Challenges Faced By Women With Diabetes

(Dr Jerath, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Intensive Care, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals)


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