COVID-19 advice for those with TB, HIV

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Dr. Quacy Grant, the Focal Point for Tuberculosis & HIV of the National Tuberculosis Programme in Guyana, has been speaking about persons living with Tuberculosis and how they may be affected by the COVID-19. Below are his comments during a media brief on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

  • For those of you diagnosed with Tubercolosis this message is especially for you. We want you to know that you are at increased risk of developing the most complicated form of COVID-19 if you become infected you may require ICU care and there is the possibility of you dying.
  • Why? As are aware TB is an opportunistic disease, which simply means that it attacks those persons whose immune system is already weak. So your chances of becoming infected with this virus is much higher.
  • If you are affected by both diseases your immune system will not produce the full response needed to fight. TB mainly affects the lungs so does the COVID-19 and because of this your lungs will not be able to survive this attack.
  • So, we are advising that if you have TB it is important to take your medication daily as advised by the outreach worker
  • Also, it is vital that you stay home and avoid contact with persons
  • Your room should be well ventilated, so open the windows and use your fan pointing it towards the window
  • For you it is a must that you wear a mask even while at home especially if you live with others
  • A balanced diet will assist you with full recovery so make it a priority
  • Hand hygiene and cough etiquette are for you as well so make it a practice

I do hope that the information provided today was useful, remember TB is treatable and can be cured. Help us to keep you alive.

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