Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious disease caused by breathing in a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB usually infects the lungs. TB can also infect other parts of the body, including the kidneys, spine and brain.
People can have TB and not be sick, this is called latent TB. Latent TB is when a person has the TB bacteria in their body but it is not growing. The latent TB can become active TB at any time and make you very sick. If you have inactive TB infection you need to get treatment to cure your TB infection.
TB is contagious. People who are sick with active TB disease spread TB germs through the air. It's important for people with TB to get treatment right away. TB treatments can cure TB and prevent it from spreading to others.