A recent diagnosis of tuberculosis can increase the risk that a person will die from COVID-19. This is according to a study.

California Department of Health researchers compiled data from across the state to determine the increased death risk for TB patients during the pandemic.

Researchers found that a person diagnosed with both TB AND Covid in less than 30 days of being diagnosed was 20% more likely to die than someone only with the virus. They also discovered that someone suffering from TB prior to the outbreak was two times more likely to die.

These findings reveal that high-risk people suffering from TB – a condition which can cause severe damage to the lungs – face challenges during the pandemic.

The likelihood of Covid death was directly related to how recently a TB diagnose has been made, according to researchers. A person with TB diagnosed within the first 30 days after a Covid diagnosis is 20 times more likely to succumb than an average person and twice as likely as someone who was infected before the pandemic.

TB is a potentially devastating bacterial infection that can cause permanent lung damage, putting them at further risk from a virus like Covid (file image)

The potentially fatal bacterial infection TB can lead to permanent lung damage.

The findings of the researchers were published in JAMA Open on Friday by the authors. They used data from 3.4 millions Californians with TB, Covid, or both, between September 2019 to December 2020.

There were three types of participants. Participants who have contracted Covid and not TB made up the 99 percent largest group.

The second, which included approximately 6,000 individuals, was made up of those with a TB diagnosis prior to the pandemic.

Third group: 91 were those with both TB/the virus diagnosed within the last 120 days.

Researchers have found that the Covid rate among TB victims was comparable to the general population, where about 10 percent of those who contracted the virus were infected during this time.

After being infected there was a direct correlation with the time taken to diagnose and treat TB.

Covid is more common in people who have been diagnosed recently with lung disease.

A TB diagnosis was a prerequisite for the pandemic. People with a TB diagnosis were at a 10% chance of getting Covid.

The death rate for those who were diagnosed with TB within 60-120 days after contracting Covid was between 15 and 20 percent.

Within 30 days of a TB diagnosis, a person was approximately 23 percent more likely to contract the disease than the one percent rate in the general population. It is also twice the risk for people who enter Covid after a TB diagnosis.

Researchers found that death was more prevalent among those with TB/COVID-19. They also saw more deaths in the elderly. 

‘When age is adjusted, mortality rates for people with TB/COVID-19 are higher than those with the other diseases.

Tuberculosis is a dangerous disease that spreads through respiratory droplets in the air, a similar fashion to Covid.

A person exposed to the disease can become infected over a period of months to years. It is difficult to prevent. 

A person can become infected by TB if bacteria invades their lungs. Most people won’t experience any symptoms but those with symptoms will develop a severe cough, fever, and other signs.

Permanent lung damage can result. TB patients who have been diagnosed with the condition are also at high risk for contracting a severe virus called Covid.

Research suggests that health authorities should coordinate their efforts in preventing TB or Covid because these conditions may build upon one another and are often spread in the exact same manner.

They wrote that these results suggested potential benefits from the integration of TB prevention and COVID-19 efforts. For example, combining COVID-19 vaccine outreach with targeted screening for TB.

TB was less commonly detected during the pandemic than other diseases.