TB Fast Facts

In the nineteenth century, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the Western world.


Tuberculosis is caused by the a rod-shaped bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is spread when someone with active tuberculosis disease in their lungs coughs or sneezes and someone else inhales the droplets that contain the tuberculosis bacteria.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis – Credit: NIAID. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/5149398678


  • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite


Source: “Tuberculosis.” Mayo Clinic. Last modified February 23, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tuberculosis/home/ovc-20188556