Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that attack the lungs or other parts of the body.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body. Tuberculosis spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or talks. If you have been exposed, you should go to your doctor for tests. You are more likely to get TB if you have a weak immune system. Symptoms of tuberculosis in the lungs may include:

  • A bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats

Skin tests, blood tests, X-rays and other tests can indicate whether you have tuberculosis. If not treated properly, TB can be deadly. You can usually cure active TB by taking several medicines for a long period of time.

Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH): National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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