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What is Tuberculosis (TB)

TB is a bacterial infection caused by a germ. In the active form of the disease, the bacteria usually attack the lungs, but can damage other parts of the body. TB is an airborne virus, meaning its spread by close contact with a person with active TB when he or she coughs, sneezes or talks.


Symptoms include:

  • A bad cough that lasts three weeks or more
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Fever and chills
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue


Tests include TB skin tests, a chest X-Ray, and other laboratory tests and clinical evaluations. 


TB is a deadly and highly infectious disease if not treated properly. Treatment for active TB is complex, requiring taking up to 11 pills a day in precise intervals, but can cure active cases of the disease. People with latent TB can take medicine to avoid developing active TB. TB is most prevalent in India and China, It is an increasing health threat globally among those with weak immune systems, including HIV and AIDS patients, as the incidence of antibiotic-resistance strains of the disease increases.

Tuberculosis (TB) Treatment at Hopkins Children’s

Tuberculosis is treated by our Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.