Tuberculosis - Experience

If known, how did you or a loved one contract TB?

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How does a person get TB?

A person can become infected with tuberculosis bacteria when he or she inhales minute particles of infected sputum from the air. The bacteria get into the air when someone who has a tuberculosis lung infection coughs, sneezes, shouts, or spits (which is common in some cultures). People who are nearby can then possibly breathe the bacteria into their lungs. You don't get TB by just touching the clothes or shaking the hands of someone who is infected. Tuberculosis is spread (transmitted) primarily from person to person by breathing infected air during close contact.

There is a form of atypical tuberculosis, however, that is transmitted by drinking unpasteurized milk. Related bacteria, called Mycobacterium bovis, cause this form of TB. Previously, this type of bacteria was a major cause of TB in children, but it rarely causes TB now since most milk is pasteurized (undergoes a heating process that kills the bacteria).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: duchess, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 28

Many years ago my husband, an apartment maintenance man, was sent into an apartment to fix something. Days later he was told that he had entered the apartment of someone with active TB. He tested positive with the tine test immediately. Although he has yet to develop symptoms, he has never had treatment. After reading this information, I'm thinking he should be on a course of antibiotics and will have him talk to his doctor.

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