How common is tuberculosis?
About a third of the world's population is infected with the bacteria. Over a million people die each year from tuberculosis.
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Tuberculosis (or TB for short) is an infectious disease, usually of the lungs. It is caused by a type of bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Symptoms of tuberculosis include a persistent cough lasting more than three weeks, chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up mucus or blood, fever, chills, night sweats, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Anyone can catch tuberculosis. People at risk of developing active disease are people with weak immune systems, such as people infected with HIV.
There are several tests for confirming the presence of tuberculosis bacteria in the body, including a skin test, chest X-ray, sputum smear test and blood test.
Tuberculosis is treated with a combination of specific antibiotic drugs. The treatment commonly takes several months to complete.
If treated correctly, tuberculosis can be completely cured. Some drug-resistant strains of the bacteria can be much more difficult to get rid of than ordinary TB bacteria.
In a healthy person infected with tuberculosis, the body's immune system can keep the tuberculosis bacteria contained and kept at bay until they eventually die off on their own.
Tuberculosis is a serious infectious disease and requires expert medical treatment.
Tuberculosis is contagious. It is contracted by breathing in the respiratory droplets from an infected person.
Tuberculosis is a serious condition that requires correct treatment. Untreated, it can lead to serious medical problems and even death.