Amazonas presents 1,923 new cases of tuberculosis in the period from January to August 2020. Of this total, 1,420 cases (73.8%) were registered in Manaus and the rest distributed in the other 61 municipalities in the state. The survey is carried out by the State Tuberculosis Control Program (PECT), from the Amazonas Health Surveillance Foundation (FVS-AM), which warns of the need to adopt measures to prevent the disease.
There was a low fluctuation in the number of new cases of tuberculosis in the comparison between January and August 2020, with the same period last year. In 2019, 2,198 new cases were registered in the state, of which 1,586 (72.2%) were in the capital. The data are contained in the Ministry of Health’s Information System for Notifiable Diseases (Sinan Net).
The director-president of FVS-AM, Rosemary Costa Pinto, warns that tuberculosis remains a public health problem and that measures to prevent the disease must be maintained by all. “Tuberculosis is a disease that worries the state a lot. The same precautions that we must take against the new coronavirus also serve to face tuberculosis, such as social distance, wearing a mask and constant hygiene of hands and environments ”, he said.
Symptoms – Tuberculosis is an infectious disease, transmitted by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Koch’s Bacillus, which can affect other organs, besides the lung. The initial symptoms are very similar to those of covid-19, the main symptom being coughing for 15 days or more, chest or back pain, fever, weight loss, lack of appetite and night sweating. The time of evolution of tuberculosis is slower than that of covid-19 and the disease can take months or years.
The coordinator of the State Tuberculosis Control Program (PECT / FVS-AM), Marlúcia Garrido, warns that cough lasting more than two weeks can now be investigated as a suspected case of tuberculosis. “If the person has had Covid-19, or even if he has not, and has an old cough, it is important to investigate tuberculosis, considering that it is a disease of high occurrence in the state. The disease can drag on for months or even years and the person can get used to the symptoms and think that the condition is normal and continue transmitting it to his family and contact persons ”, he warned.
Diagnosis – Whoever presents suspicious symptoms of tuberculosis, it is recommended to seek medical attention at a Basic Health Unit (UBS), where the sample must be collected and sent to the reference laboratory for the detection of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. In Amazonas, laboratory analyzes are carried out in district laboratories in the capital and in municipal laboratories, in the interior of the state, under the monitoring of the Central Public Health Laboratory of Amazonas (Lacen / FVS-AM), which is a national reference unit for diagnosis complex cases of tuberculosis.
Deaths – For Marlúcia, abandoning treatment is the main cause for tuberculosis to continue to cause so many deaths. In Amazonas, up to August, 115 deaths were registered against 125 registered in the same period last year. Of the registered deaths, 78 occurred in Manaus, against 74 last year, in the capital.
Prevention – Measures to prevent tuberculosis are similar to those to combat covid-19: use of a respiratory protection mask, which prevents the spread of the bacteria in the environment and protects others from the disease; sanitization of hands; maintain airy environments and the social distance that protects people who live in the same place and also those who circulate in the same space.