Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and is spread in droplets of mucus expelled in coughs and sneezes. If the infection is fought off successfully, a small scar forms in the lung tissue. The person is then immune unless they become undernourished or generally unwell in the future, in which case tuberculosis may flare up again. Occasionally, the primary infection spreads to other parts of the body via the lymphatic system and the bloodstream, a condition known as miliary tuberculosis, which is occasionally fatal. Tuberculosis is most common among the elderly, alcoholics, and people living in economically deprived areas.
Was this article helpful?