What Causes Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a bacteria, usually the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, or M. tuberculosis. It mainly affects the lungs, though it can also affect other areas of the body. The disease is also called TB or consumption and was once so widespread it was known as the white plague. Though it is not as prevalent in Western countries as it used to be, TB is still a significant problem in third-world countries. What makes tuberculosis so dangerous is that it is fairly easy to catch. Continue reading to reveal how it spreads and the primary causes of TB now.

How TB Spreads

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Whenever a person with tuberculosis coughs or sneezes, they propel millions of infectious bacteria into the air through droplets of moisture. Another person can breathe in the bacteria, which then travels to their lungs. The lungs try to fight the germ by encapsulating it in a formation called a tubercle. This gives the disease its name. Though the germs are incapacitated, as long as they are within the tubercle, the tubercle can break down over time and allow the germs to escape and multiply, causing the individual to become ill. 

Keep reading to learn about the main culprit of this disease: Mycobacterium TB.