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Tuberculosis Basics - Information From the CDC

Tuberculosis Basics

Learn About TB

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually affect the lungs but can also attack other organs in the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain. The most common symptoms of TB are persistent cough with blood in sputum, fever for more than 2 weeks, loss of appetite, involuntary weight loss and excessive perspiration while sleeping. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. TB is highly contagious and can be spread through air when people cough, sneeze or speak. If not treated in a timely manner or properly, TB disease can be fatal.

The National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) offers resources for public health professionals seeking information about TB statistics, guidelines, and materials. For the latest information about tuberculosis, sign up for NPIN’s newsletter today.  

How TB Spreads LTBI and TB Disease Signs & Symptoms
TB Risk Factors Exposures to TB TB Prevention
Vaccines TB & HIV Coinfection TB Terms