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Neurosurgeon Dr. Shailesh Jain puts forth his views on Post-Covid Rise in Tuberculosis Cases

Before the advent of Covid-19, tuberculosis (TB) was the global lead in terms of mortality caused by infectious diseases. According to the available data, almost 25T of the global population had TB in 2019. It has also been accused of taking away almost 4,000 lives every day. However, at the same time, TB treatment was gaining momentum over the past few decades. In 2018 and 2019 only, over 14 million people received TB treatment globally. This progress came to a halt with the emergence of Covid-19 around the world. The disruption in health services caused by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns led to a surge in TB cases throughout the globe. In addition to that, as a result of the Covid-19 related restrictions, case notification for TB decreased by 25% in 2020 in India.

Central Nervous System tuberculosis involves significant morbidity and mortality. It has been found that the prevalence of TB within a community can lead to the incidence of CNS-TB and almost 10% of TB patients develop neurotuberculosis. As a matter of fact, tubercular meningitis, tuberculoma, and Pott’s disease are some of the manifestations of CNS-TB. It can cause several neurological disorders which is why Dr. Shailesh Jain, a senior consultant neurosurgeon of Max Hospital Shalimar bagh, is making sure that people are aware of the risks involved with TB, especially during this pandemic when the health sector is facing severe adversities.         

Even though there is still no proper evidence on the direct relationship between Covid-19 and tuberculosis, it cannot be denied that an infection like TB can take the advantage of the impaired immunity in Covid patients. Therefore, a Covid-19 can make people more susceptible to a deadly disease like TB. At the same time, both the diseases attack the human lungs contributing to the dual morbidity of Covid-19 and TB. Following this, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India has provided the directive of Tb screening for all Covid19 patients and Covid19 testing for TB patients. In this scenario, Dr. Jain, an M.Ch (Neuro Surgery) from AIIMS, has taken the initiative of proving supervision to any neuro spinal disorder through his clinic Arihant Neuro Spine clinic.

Located in Pitampura, Delhi, Dr.Shailesh jain clinic with the name of Arihant Neuro Spine Center is a trustable name within the patient community. With his 15 years of experience in neurosurgery and neuro treatment, Dr. Shailesh Jain has dedicated his professional career to the treatment of any neurological disorder with utmost care. His expertise in the field has gained his membership of the Neurological Society of India (NSI), Indian Society for Trauma and Acute Care (ISTAC), Medical Council of India (MCI), A-0 SPINE (International), and Delhi Neurological Association (DNA).

Sharing his take on the situation, Dr. Jain says, "There might be no correlation between Covid19 and TB but the pandemic has affected the TB treatment and care adversely. What makes the situation worse is the fact that both of the diseases share a similar set of symptoms including cough, fever, and breathing difficulties. The only thing we can do right now is to keep an eye on the future proceedings and take all the measures to reduce the chances of any further degradation."

As India is getting deep into the pandemic, the Indian Government is taking more and more preventive measures to mitigate the upsurge in TB cases. There has also been an increase in case-finding efforts to contain the entire situation. The global progress against TB might have been impaired by the Covid-19 but the Government could use the expert guidance of doctors like Dr. Shailesh Jain to ensure the safety of its citizens.  

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