Tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB mostly attacks the lungs (pulmonary TB) but it can affect any organ in the body (extra Pulmonary TB). TB that affect other parts of the body is not as infectious as TB of the lungs.
Pulmonary TB is transmitted from a sick TB patient as a droplet infection through coughing, singing and sneezing. Inhalation of these droplets by an uninfected person may cause infection. The risk of contracting TB increases with the frequency and duration of contact with people who have the disease.
The cardinal symptom of pulmonary TB is a cough lasting 2weeks or more and for people living with HIV (PLHIV) a cough of 24hours is significant along with other constitutional symptoms. Other symptoms are weight loss, tiredness, night sweats, chest pain and cough with blood stained sputum