According to health officials, tuberculosis has become the communicable disease with the highest mortality rate annually in Sri Lanka.
Officials said over 500 deaths are reported annually.
Speaking during a media briefing at the Health Promotion Bureau this afternoon, Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said tuberculosis can be cured if patients are diagnosed in advance and receive continuous treatment.
Dr. Herath said tuberculosis has become a burden to the health sector and has the highest infections next to dengue at present.
He said tuberculosis can only be cured through long term treatment.
The Deputy Director General said in the event of delays in receiving treatment, the disease will deeply impact bodily functions.
Dr. Herath said patients contracting tuberculosis will face difficulties in engaging in day to day tasks if treatment is not received in a timely manner.
Joining the media briefing, Consultant Community Physician Dr. Onali Rajapakshe of the National Programme for Tuberculosis Control & Chest Diseases at the Ministry of Health said groups highly vulnerable of contracting tuberculosis have been identified.
Dr. Rajapakshe said it is essential to investigate close contacts of a tuberculosis patient as similar to the coronavirus such individuals are at high risk of contracting the disease.
She said immunocompromised individuals including those suffering from HIV/Aids or kidney diseases are also at high risk of contracting tuberculosis.
Dr. Rajapakshe said drug addicts and those suffering from alcoholism also fall under the highly vulnerable groups.