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How is tuberculosis (TB) spread?

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Tuberculosis (TB) is spread through the air, just like a cold or the flu. When someone who’s sick coughs, sneezes, talks, laughs, or sings, tiny droplets that contain the germs are released. If you breathe in these nasty germs, you get infected.

TB is contagious, but it’s not easy to catch.  You usually have to spend a lot of time around a person who has it. That’s why it’s often spread among co-workers, friends, and family members.

Tuberculosis germs don’t thrive on surfaces. You can’t get the disease from shaking hands with someone who has it, or by sharing their food or drink.

From: Tuberculosis (TB) WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Brian W. Christman, MD, professor and vice-chair, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; volunteer national spokesperson, American Lung Association.

CDC: “Tuberculosis.”

American Lung Association: “Learn About Tuberculosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tuberculosis.”

World Health Organization: “Tuberculosis.”

UpToDate.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 9, 2019

SOURCES:

Brian W. Christman, MD, professor and vice-chair, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; volunteer national spokesperson, American Lung Association.

CDC: “Tuberculosis.”

American Lung Association: “Learn About Tuberculosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tuberculosis.”

World Health Organization: “Tuberculosis.”

UpToDate.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 9, 2019

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How does tuberculosis (TB) affect your body?

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