The Resurgence of Tuberculosis: A Disease Deadlier Than COVID-19 Before the Pandemic

Before SARS-CoV-2 wreaked havoc across the globe, there was a disease responsible for more deaths globally than any other infectious disease – it has now made a ‘sensational’ return.

Tuberculosis (TB), is a bacterial infection that can affect any part of the body, but most commonly affects the lungs. TB is highly contagious and can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, TB was the world’s deadliest infection. In 2019, there were an estimated 10.4 million new cases of TB and 1.5 million deaths from TB. TB is a major public health problem, especially in developing countries.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of TB, due in part to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. People with HIV are more likely to develop TB, and TB can also make HIV infection worse.

According to, tuberculosis numbers seem to have quickly climbed back up to the levels they were before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, marking the first time in a number of decades that cases and deaths have risen globally.

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the resurgence of TB, including:

  • The HIV/AIDS epidemic
  • Drug-resistant TB
  • Poverty and poor living conditions
  • Lack of access to healthcare

There are a number of things that can be done to prevent TB, including:

  • Vaccination with the BCG vaccine
  • Early diagnosis and treatment
  • Improving living conditions
  • Increasing access to healthcare
  • TB is a treatable disease, but it is important to get treatment early. If you think you may have TB, see your doctor right away.

Here are some additional details you should know about TB:

  • The bacteria that cause TB can live in the body for years without causing any symptoms.
  • Symptoms of TB can include cough, fever, weight loss, night sweats, and shortness of breath.
  • TB is diagnosed with a chest X-ray and a sputum test.
  • Treatment for TB usually involves taking antibiotics for several months.
  • TB is a curable disease, but it is important to complete the full course of treatment.

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