Your Tuberculosis Guide

Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. TB is mainly spread when someone with TB coughs or sneezes, and someone else breaths in the air-borne bacteria. A person can be infected with the TB organism for years without getting sick or spreading it on to others, but when their immune system weakens for some reason, TB infection can develop into active disease. Symptoms of TB include a persistent cough, weight loss, appetite loss and constant fatigue. TB can be cured, but requires rigorous unbroken treatment that lasts for six months – failure to complete the treatment regimen can result in the emergence of drug-resistant strains of TB. As TB is a common opportunistic infection ailing people with HIV, South Africa has a particularly high burden of TB due to its high prevalence of HIV. Learn more about TB types, causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention here.