Tuberculosis — or TB, as it’s commonly called — is a contagious infection that usually attacks the lungs. It can also spread to other parts of the body, like the brain and spine.
Today, most cases of TB are cured with antibiotics, but it
takes a long time. You have to take medication for at least 6 to 9 months.
How Is It Spread?
TB spreads through the air, just like a cold or the flu.
When someone who’s sick coughs, sneezes, talks, laughs, or sings, tiny droplets that contain the germs are released. If you breathe in these nasty germs, you get infected.
TB is contagious, but it’s not easy to catch. The germs grow slowly. You usually have to spend a lot of time around a person who has it. That’s why it’s often spread among co-workers, friends, and family members.
Some of the symptoms of tuberculosis are: coughing that lasts more than three weeks, chest pain, coughing blood, night sweats, and weight loss.
If you think you may have been exposed to tuberculosis, speak with your doctor about getting a test.
For more tuberculosis information, click here.
Tuberculosis information from New York State Department of Health
Tuberculosis information from the Centers for Disease Control