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How Tuberculosis Spreads

5 Things to Know

What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis(TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB can attack any part of the body suck as the kidney, spine and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. 

How does Tuberculosis Spread?

TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, sings. People nearby may breathe in the bacteria and become infected. Once in the lungs, TB bacteria can being to grow and eventually spread through other parts of the body through the blood. 

What are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis?

  • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing up blood or sputum(phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • No appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sweating at night

For more information on Tuberculosis, please visit the CDPH website.