|Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial disease (tubercle bacilli) and has an [incubation period] of 12 weeks. The symptoms include a dry cough, periods of breathlessness, a slight fever, sweating in the night, extreme fatigue, loss of weight, loss of appetite, and coughing up blood. TB attacks lungs, causing cavities which scar lung tissue. TB has a 1% fatality rate. TB is spread by sneezing, talking, coughing, but usually requires months of close contact. Malnutrition can speed up the spread of TB. Testing for TB takes a few days. A small portion of tuberculin solution is injected under the skin. A few days later, bumps appear. The size of the bumps determines the results of the test. Further testing then reveals the severity of the disease. It takes six to twelve months of drug therapy to rid the body of TB. The treatment requires a lot of money and may involve a hospital stay. In 1946 the drug streptomycin was discovered to eliminate the disease. There is a vaccine for TB but it is not very effective.||
Tuberculosis fact sheet
What is TB?
History of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Tuberculosis and AIDS
Infectious diseases information & treatments from Johns Hopkins University