The COVID-19 pandemic has Minnesota health officials concerned about another respiratory disease that may be flying under the radar. Sarah Gordon with the Minnesota Department of Health says while Tuberculosis is still rare, there are active cases currently in Minnesota. Gordon says as the pandemic set in, they saw a significant drop in the number of reported TB cases in 2020 compared to 2019:
“They’ve delayed going in to figure out what was going on. I don’t know if it was ah… afraid to interact with the healthcare system during the pandemic, a lack of access, or just people thinking maybe they had COVID.”
Gordon says if you have personal risk factors, a persistent cough, and have tested negative for COVID go get a TB test. There have been eight deaths from TB so far this year.