By: Team NewsdayExpress | Posted: 20 Oct, 2021
Johannesburg. Like COVID-19, tuberculosis (TB) is spread more by virus-laden aerosols than by coughing, according to a study by researchers in South Africa.
Researchers from the University of Cape Town reported the study at the 52nd Union World Conference on Lung Health, being held online from 19-22 October.
According to the New York Times report, the team showed that about 90 percent of TB bacteria released from an infected person can be carried by tiny droplets called aerosols, which are released when a person takes a deep breath.
Recent findings in the study suggested that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. As well as others such as MERS-CoV, influenza, measles and rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, all spread through aerosols and linger in indoor air for hours.
Ryan Dinkley, a graduate student at the University of Cape Town who presented the results, quoted the NYT as saying, “Our model will suggest how, in fact, aerosols and TB symptoms can be overcome.”
But if an infected person coughs 500 times and breathes in 22,000 times per day, the cough accounts for 7 percent of the total bacteria excreted by an infected patient, Dinkley said.
This finding helps explain why indoor spaces, such as prisons, are often breeding grounds for TB and they are also for COVID.
In addition, the study also suggested that measures used to prevent COVID transmission such as masks, open windows or doors are important in limiting TB, the report said.
TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which usually attacks the lungs.
According to the World Health Organization’s 2021 Global TB report published last week, it is the world’s deadliest infectious disease after corona, which claimed over 1.5 million lives in 2020.
The report said, “Corona has set back progress made on TB as the pandemic has disrupted access to healthcare and supply chains around the world.” In 2020, 58 lakh people were diagnosed with TB. But the WHO estimates that around 10 million people were infected. (IANS)
#7 Amazing Tips: How To Groom Your Skin…