Human tuberculosis (TB) is a highly contagious bacterial infection that is passed from person to person through droplets in the air. It is usually spread by coming in contact with an infected person who is actively coughing or talking. Infection is caused by the bacteria multiplying inside the body, causing tissue and organ damage. Without treatment, half of those with active TB infection will die.
Most people know TB as a disease that is in the lungs. However, not all active TB disease is in the lungs. Around 40% of people who have active TB disease have the infection in another part of their body (e.g., lymph glands, brain, spine, kidneys, or other organs). This occurs when the bacteria spread outside of the lungs. In these cases, TB is more difficult to diagnose since the patient does not have the normal signs and symptoms associated with pulmonary TB.
There are two forms of TB infection: Active and Latent