What is TB?
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by germs spread from person to person through the air. TB germs enter the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
TB-infected persons can develop latent (hidden) TB infection or TB disease. TB disease usually affects the lungs, but can also affect other body parts including the brain, kidney or spine and can cause death if left untreated. Medications that can cure TB are provided to all patients.
Those with latent TB (infected but do not have symptoms):
Are not sick as the germs are not active,
Can develop the disease in the future unless they receive treatment, and
Cannot spread the TB germs to others.
Those with TB disease:
Are usually sick as the germs are active,
May feel sick and weak; may experience weight loss, fever and night sweats, coughing, chest pain and coughing up blood, and