Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacteria, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.
It most commonly affects the lungs, but it can affect the brain, spinal cord, or joints. TB in the lungs (also called Pulmonary Tuberculosis) can be spread from one person to another through the air. It is important for anyone with TB in the lungs to stay home from work or school until they are no longer infectious. Symptoms of TB include:
- Bad cough that lasts longer than two weeks
- Pain in the chest
- Coughing up blood or sputum
- Weakness or fatigue
- Weight loss
- Chills, fever, or night sweats
The most common test for TB is a skin test. If a person has a positive TB skin test, a healthcare provider will do additional tests to determine if they have active TB disease. Many people are infected with TB bacteria for many years before developing Active TB Disease. This is called Latent TB Infection. Both Active and Latent TB can be treated with antibiotics.