Tuberculosis (TB) Fast Facts

 A doctor examines the x-rays of a tuberculosis (TB) patient at a TB clinic Novmeber 27, 2002, in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(CNN)Here's a look at some information on Tuberculosis (also known as TB), an infection, caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, that usually affects the lungs. It can also infect other parts of the body including the kidneys, spine and brain.

About TB:
Two types of TB exist - Latent TB infection (non-infectious) and TB disease (infectious).
Latent TB infection:
- A person infected with latent TB shows no sign of symptoms and may not feel sick.
- A skin or blood test will indicate if a person has been infected with the bacteria.
- It is not possible to spread the TB bacteria from the infected person to others.
- Individuals with a latent TB infection may never develop the disease, as bacteria remains dormant. In other cases, especially involving people with a weak immune system, the bacteria may become active and cause TB disease.
- Treatment is required to ensure the infected person does not develop active TB disease but in some cases preventative treatment may not be an option.
- Without treatment, about 5-10% of individuals infected with latent TB will develop the disease.
TB disease:
- Symptoms of TB of the lungs include coughing up blood and chest pain.
- Other symptoms include weight loss, night sweats, fever, chills and fatigue.
- It is possible to spread the TB bacteria from the infected person to others.
- A skin or blood test will indicate if a person has been infected with the bacteria.
- Treatment involves a combination of drugs taken for six to nine months.
- Persons with a weak immune system, such as those with HIV or diabetes mellitus, are more prone to catching the TB disease.
- TB is one of the leading causes of death for people infected with HIV worldwide.
    Facts:
    TB spreads through the air when a person with an active TB infection coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. Germs can stay in the air for hours.
    Approximately two billion people, one-third of the world's population, are infected with latent TB.
    In 2018, a total of 9,029 new TB cases were reported in the United States, the lowest case count on record in the United States. Still, the CDC cautions that a recent model predicted that the goal of TB elimination in the United States will not be attained during the 21st century without greatly increased investment in detection and treatment of latent TB infection.
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