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‘TB can now be diagnosed in two to 72 hours with the latest tests’

With an early diagnosis, he said, treatment can start immediately and TB is 100 per cent curable. The diagnosis of tuberculosis and its resistance, added Prof Sethi, have become easier due to the availability of many rapid tests.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
March 27, 2022 4:40:42 am
world tuberculosis day 2022Educate yourself on the myths and facts about Tuberculosis. (Photo: Representational)

A two-day CME-cum-workshop on tuberculosis started on Saturday, as part of World TB week at the Department of Medical Microbiology, PGI Chandigarh. Dr Sunil Sethi, Professor and organising secretary of TBCON 2022, said that over 300 delegates from all over India will be attending this event.

“The objective of CME and workshop on World TB Week is to educate and train doctors regarding the development in new diagnostics and treatment of TB. This is very important as all doctors and private practitioners need to update their knowledge regarding diagnosis and management to achieve the target of ending TB by 2025,” said Prof Sethi.

Latest diagnostic tools and tests, added Prof Sethi, help in detecting TB early.

“Truenat is one such new test, available here at the Institute. Earlier, diagnosis for TB used to take four weeks. Now, with Truenat, the diagnosis can be in two to 72 hours. The target of TB elimination in India is 2025, and the effort is to prevent, detect and treat,” said Prof Sethi.

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With an early diagnosis, he said, treatment can start immediately and TB is 100 per cent curable. The diagnosis of tuberculosis and its resistance, added Prof Sethi, have become easier due to the availability of many rapid tests.

As part of the workshop on Saturday, different molecular techniques such as NAATs along with conventional methods like smear microscopy and cultures were demonstrated.

“What is important is that the treatment is not left midway, for that causes drug-resistant TB, which is challenging to treat and cure. We now have new drugs for better treatment, and DOTS centres across the country are providing free treatment to patients. Low immunity is a cause of TB, with 60 per cent of patients infected because of low immunity. While the incidence of TB has come down, a healthy diet, better lifestyle and good hygiene standards are important for the prevention of TB,” added Prof Sethi.

The incidence of pulmonary TB, he added, is 80 to 90 per cent, with paediatric TB tough to diagnose. “Also, TB is now prevalent in the urban population, though the incidence of TB has come down from 192 per lakh population to 167. It was the number one killer before Covid. The development in TB diagnosis has been phenomenal since 2013 and new generation sequencing will also help detect new mutations.”

 

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