How do you catch TB from another person?
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings. Although tuberculosis is contagious, it's not easy to catch.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that are spread through the air from person to person. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. People infected with TB bacteria who are not sick may still need treatment to prevent TB disease from developing in the future.
- Tuberculosis is actually the primary cause of death for people with HIV. Anyone who receives a late diagnosis is also at a greater risk of dying from tuberculosis. The later you start treatment, the more time the bacteria have to spread throughout the lungs and to other parts of the body.
- This means that the person is cured of TB. However, TB bacteria die very slowly, and so the drugs have to be taken for quite a few months. Even when a patient starts to feel better they can still have bacteria alive in their body. So the person needs to keep taking the TB treatment until all the bacteria are dead.
- The TB skin test is done in two parts. During one visit to a doctor's office or clinic, a tiny amount of tuberculin is injected under the skin, usually in the forearm. Tuberculin is a sterile extract purified protein derivative (PPD) made from the bacteria that cause TB.
Updated: 25th November 2019