World TB Day 2020: Living with tuberculosis during the coronavirus crisis

A child sits between two people in surgical masks after completing TB treatment from MSF in Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea 2019 © Sara Bechstein/MSF

As the world grapples with the global pandemic of coronavirus, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is concerned for vulnerable groups worldwide, like people with tuberculosis (TB), whose lungs are often damaged and immune systems weakened.


This World TB Day, it’s more critical than ever to maintain and safeguard prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care for people with TB worldwide. As with TB, COVID-19 typically affects the lungs, and people who contract it may show similar symptoms to TB, such as coughing and fever. The lung damage caused by TB and the toll it takes on the immune system means people living with the disease are at a heightened risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the coronavirus.


As coronavirus spreads, preventing and treating tuberculosis must remain a priority

Here, people living with TB around the world share their experiences with the disease and with treatment.