About Tuberculosis

The common name of this disease is Tuberculosis or TB. It is a very infectious, deadly disease that has affected millions of people.

Cause of Tuberculosis

TB is caused by bacteria that lives inside of you, mostly in your respiratory system. The scientific name of this cause is Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.


When someone has TB, bacteria is released into the air when someone coughs or sneezes. It has to find a human body to live and reproduce in so it attempts to enter body through an airway. That is the only way the disease is spread.


The first symptoms of Tuberculosis are fever, night sweating, weight loss, and lack of appetite. Later symptoms you experience in TB are chest pain, coughing, and eventually bloody cough. These symptoms become much more serious as the disease progresses such as an accumulation of fluid in the lungs and chest.


Tuberculosis can be treated with a multitude of antibiotics- 3 or 4 different medicines, taken for 6+ months to make sure all bacteria is destroyed. Isolation of the infected person(s) has it's trade-offs. The good thing is that it would hopefully prevent the disease from spreading and infecting more people. The down side of this is that it would be very hard and somewhat unfair to keep someone away from other people just because they have a disease they can't control. There is also no guarantee that this solution would work- they could spread it to their parents or siblings, who could later end up spreading it to more people.

Prevention of TB

As of now, no effective prevention is known, however, Tuberculosis is very curable if treated immediately and correctly with antibiotics. The disease starts out deep in the body tissue, and at first you are not sick. But having preventive TB to kill bacteria is a good idea so that it later doesn't cause disease.


People in sub-Saharan Africa are most likely to be affected by the disease- TB is the leading cause of death of people with the virus. 2/5 of Tuberculosis cases come from London, but are also commonly occurring in other places of the world such as Southeast Asia and Africa. TB is most likely to occur in places with no modern healthcare system and poor ways of living (developing countries), but is also present in some of the world's richest countries such as the United States or United Kingdom.

Incubation period

When TB first enters the body, it is not harmful. The infected person must take antibiotics for almost one year (6-9 months).

Current events

On January 8, 2016, Oregon Zoo staff were recently infected with the disease after being around infected elephants. There were 3 elephants that had TB but luckily did not pass it on to visitors, only the 8 staff members that came in close contact with them.

West central Alabama suffers through major outbreak of TB. It has been going on for a year, starting in Perry County. As of January 13, 2016, case rate for Marion was 253 people per 100,000 population, which is much higher than the 2.5 per 100,000 for the state of Alabama in 2015


About 1.5 million people die from TB each year, 9.6 million were infected with Tuberculosis in 2014.
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 9 Feb 2016.

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Gibson Morris, Michaela. "No sign that Alabama TB outbreak has crossed state lines." Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, MS) 16 Jan. 2016: Newspaper Source. Web. 1 Feb. 2016.

Tuberculosis. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 9 Feb 2016.

Tuberculosis treatment. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 9 Feb 2016.

Tuberculosis drugs. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 9 Feb 2016.