Since the coronavirus outbreak forced doctors and hospitals around the world to delay most other medical care to focus 100% on combating the outbreak, lapses in vaccination routines have led to the reemergence of diseases like polio and measles. Alarmed by this trend, one ER doctor and coronavirus survivor in the Bronx warned that the US might as well end its coronavirus lockdowns now due to the impending wave of ancillary health issues.
And now, the Guardian, a far-left publication that has pushed for extended lockdowns, is even reporting that tuberculosis cases around the world are expected to surge.
Up to 6.3 million more people are predicted to develop TB between now and 2025 and 1.4 million more people are expected to die as cases go undiagnosed and untreated during lockdown. This will set back global efforts to end TB by five to eight years.
"The fact that we’ve rolled back to 2013 figures and we have so many people dying, this for me is sickening," said Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership. “I am outraged that just by not being able to control what we do...and forgetting about programmes that exist we lose so much, starting with the loss of the lives of people."
There is no TB vaccine for adults, only for children. Some TB specialists have taken umbrage at the reality that there are so many vaccine candidates in the works for COVID-19, while desperately needed adult TB vaccines can't get funding because they just wouldn't be a money-maker.
"I have to say we look from the TB community in a sort of puzzled way because TB has been around for thousands of years,” Ditiu said. “For 100 years we have had a vaccine and we have two or three potential vaccines in the pipeline. We need around half a billion [people] to get the vaccine by 2027 and we look in amazement on a disease that … is 120 days old and it has 100 vaccine candidates in the pipeline. So I think this world, sorry for my French, is really fucked up," she said.
"The fear we have in the community is that researchers are heading towards just developing a vaccine for Covid. That’s on the agenda of everyone now and very few remain focused on the others [diseases]. We don’t have a vaccine for TB, we don’t have a vaccine for HIV, we don’t have a vaccine for malaria and out of all this, TB is the oldest. So why this reaction? I think because we are a world of idiots. What can I say?"
The data were published on Wednesday; they are based on a three-month lockdown and a 10-month period of restoring services after lockdown is lifted.The research was commissioned by the Stop TB Partnership, working with Imperial College London, Avenir Health and - get this - Johns Hopkins University (which is helping track the global outbreak and conduct research).
TB kills 1.5 million people a year, more than any other infectious disease.