SDG target: End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases.
Before COVID-19, there were already 3 million “missing cases” of TB: people with active TB who didn’t know it and were passing the disease to others while going untreated themselves. Now, that number will grow even larger as people either cannot go to health facilities for diagnosis or choose not to go to avoid the possibility of exposure to COVID-19. For similar reasons, people who know they have TB may not go in for treatment. Our fear is that this expanded pool of undiagnosed infections will lead to a long-term increase in the number of TB cases around the world. As they come out of COVID, countries are going to have to make case-finding—and funding—for TB a major priority.