What is tuberculosis (TB)?

Answer

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease caused by bacteria that kills nearly 2 million people every year and infects 1% of the world�s population every year. Although it can cause disease in any part of the body, TB usually affects the lungs. Someone in the world is infected with TB every second: almost 1/3 of the world�s population is infected with TB.

You can have TB infection and not have any symptoms (TB disease) because the germs that cause TB disease can remain dormant, or inactive, in the body for many, many years. People with TB infection whose immune systems are weakened are more likely to develop TB disease. 5-10 % of people who have TB infection develop TB disease at some point in their lives.

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