Learn about Tuberculosis (TB)

chinacdc.cn | Updated: 2022-11-29
What is Tuberculosis (TB): 
Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious respiratory disease, and anyone may be infected.
TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 
How TB spreads:
1.TB is a respiratory infectious disease, which is easy to spread among people.
2.The TB bacteria spread through air when a person with TB coughs, speaks, or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
3.Roommates, coworkers, family members or schoolmates of TB patients may be infected, and should be quickly examined after exposure.
4.People with AIDS and those with weak immunity, diabetes, pneumoconiosis, and the elderly are all susceptible to TB, and should be screened for TB annually.
TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary TB). TB in the lungs may cause symptoms such as:
a bad cough that lasts two weeks or longer
coughing up blood or sputum. 
low fever, night sweating, chest pain, fatigue, weakness, weight loss
The vast majority of TB patients can be cured, if they follow the prescribed treatments. 
If TB patients don’t get standard treatments, it is easy to develop drug-resistant tuberculosis. Once drug-resistant tuberculosis develops in the patients, a cure is very difficult and the cost will be much higher.
1.TB patients should avoid others and cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
2.TB patients should avoid spitting. Instead, they can spit out sputum in a spittoon covered with disinfectant. When that is inconvenient, they may spit out sputum in a sterile wet paper towel or sealed sputum bag.
3.TB patients should avoid crowded places.
4.TB patients who are treated at home should live in separate rooms from others, keep their rooms well-ventilated and wear masks to avoid infecting their family members.
5.TB can be prevented and treated. Strengthening nutrition and improving immunity is good for preventing tuberculosis.
6.Newborn BCG vaccination can prevent severe tuberculosis and tuberculous meningitis in children.