Abstract and Introduction
Coronavirus disease has disrupted tuberculosis services globally. Data from 33 centers in 16 countries on 5 continents showed that attendance at tuberculosis centers was lower during the first 4 months of the pandemic in 2020 than for the same period in 2019. Resources are needed to ensure tuberculosis care continuity during the pandemic.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has affected clinical management of tuberculosis (TB) and TB-related services.[1,2] Reports of the first cohorts of patients with COVID-19 and TB have been recently published,[3,4] although it may be difficult to distinguish which infection occurred first. The effects of COVID-19 on TB diagnostic and programmatic activities are similar. Almost every country has national TB programs in place, whereas national programs for COVID-19 are urgently needed.[1,2]
The effect of COVID-19 on TB services is estimated to be dramatic, especially in countries where healthcare staff involved in TB management have been reassigned to the COVID-19 emergency. However, apart from local studies, a comprehensive, multinational description is needed.
The Global Tuberculosis Network, which conducted this study, collaborates with TB centers from 41 countries.[3,4,6,7] We studied patient attendance at TB centers in 16 countries and compared the volume of TB-related healthcare activities in the first 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, January–April 2020, with that for the same period in 2019.
Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020;26(11):2709-2712. © 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)