Interestingly in Karimnagar district, 100% of the TB patients were found to be tobacco users, while in Nizamabad district 99% of the patients detected admitted to using tobacco or tobacco products.
While experts point out that there has been a marked upward trend in cases of tuberculosis , the numbers have jumped from 48,444 in 2017 to 70,202 in 2019, but dipped in 2020. The dip, however, was on account of the ongoing pandemic, said state health authorities. According to sources at the health department, Telangana ranks fourth in the country in tuberculosis cases after Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
“However, we have a robust surveillance here which is why the number of cases detected is very high. Among districts, the highest number of new cases during 2020 were in Hyderabad followed by Rangareddy and Malkajgiri, while the lowest were found in Mulugu district,” said an official from the department.
Officials have meanwhile attributed the upward trend in cases to the urban congestion as majority of the cases were being reported from slums. “Also, the fact that at least 40% of patients discontinue medication before they are free from TB and become spreaders, is adding to the burden,” added the official.