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What causes tuberculosis (TB)?

Tuberculosis, or TB, is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and typically causes infections in the lung, but it can also infect other parts of the body. 

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria - specifically, Mycobacterium tuberculosis - that spread through the air when someone with active tuberculosis sneezes, coughs, or talks. If you breathe in these bacteria and become infected, you may carry the bacteria without ever becoming sick; this is known as a latent tuberculosis infection. However, if your immune system can't fight the bacteria, you may develop active tuberculosis within weeks or even years of being exposed. Only people with active TB can spread the disease, and only through the air. Touching and kissing do not spread tuberculosis.

Continue Learning about Tuberculosis (TB)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.