What is TB and how do you get TB?

So what is this TB thing?

TB stands for Tuberculosis ( too-ber-Q-low-sis). It's a lung disease which spreads from person to person through the air. That means it can be easy to catch. Let's see how it happens…

If a person has TB and is not on treatment or not taking their TB medication they are likely to infect other people. First, they cough out TB germs and if you near the person and you breathe in the air which contains these TB germs, you can get TB. The TB germs are very small light particles, so they can stay in the air for a long time (up to 12 hours) especially if there is no air flow, like in a crowded room or a room with few open windows.

There are 2 ways TB can show up. TB can be in our bodies for a long time without making us sick (sleeping/latent TB) or it can make us sick the first time we breathe it in (active TB). Sleeping or latent TB is the one to watch out for, because we won't know we have it until our bodies become weak and can't keep the TB asleep – it means that the TB has become active. Different things can make our bodies weak such as being HIV-positive, having diabetes, having cancer, being malnourished (not eating well) or even being pregnant. 


Check out the TB section for more information about TB here: bwisehealth.com/category/tb 

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B-Wise User keith 29 April 2019 09:47

What is Human Papilomavirus?

B-Wise User Lerato Ralekholela 28 March 2019 15:35

Hi. I once heared that BCG can last for 20yrs but when i read through the article here on B-wise it can only last for 10yrs Can i plz get the clarity on this one

B-Wise Expert Expert 1 April 2019 08:14

Dear Anonymous. The vaccine takes effect after 6-8 weeks and can last for about 10 years. New findings indicate it can last for up to 20 years. Click on this link for more information: https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/S_T/Tuberculosis-BCG-Vaccination.



B-Wise User Anonymous 19 March 2016 14:14

TB will kill you if you don't take treatment .

B-Wise User Msb20 19 March 2016 14:11

What are the signs of tb?

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 15:06

Hi MSB20. The signs of TB are cough, high temperature (fever), night sweats, losing weight, and feeling tired all the time. Check out https://b-wise.mobi/english/health-issues/tb/all-you-need-know-about-tb/ for more information.



B-Wise Expert Expert 21 March 2016 00:01

Hi MSB20. The signs of TB are cough, high temperature (fever), night sweats, losing weight, and feeling tired all the time. Check out https://b-wise.mobi/english/health-issues/tb/all-you-need-know-about-tb/ for more information.


B-Wise User soso19 18 March 2016 16:31

I would like know mmec

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 15:34

Hi Soso, MMC stands for medical male circumcision. This is a procedure in which the foreskin (the fold of skin that covers the head of the penis) is removed. It has been shown that being circumcised can reduce young men's risk of getting infected with HIV. If done correctly, a circumcision is a simple and safe procedure. Visit your clinic to talk to your nurse or doctor if you would like to consider getting circumcised.



B-Wise Expert Expert 20 March 2016 16:07

Hi Soso, MMC stands for medical male circumcision. This is a procedure in which the foreskin (the fold of skin that covers the head of the penis) is removed. It has been shown that being circumcised can reduce young men's risk of getting infected with HIV. If done correctly, a circumcision is a simple and safe procedure. Visit your clinic to talk to your nurse or doctor if you would like to consider getting circumcised.


B-Wise User mmaphoka 18 March 2016 14:34

Can I get tb if I live with someone who has it?

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 15:42

Hi Mmaphoka, Yes, living with someone who has TB can put you at risk of getting TB, especially if they are coughing, if they have not started TB treatment, or if they are not taking their medication properly. Try and make sure the windows are open to allow the air in the house to flow. If you get any symptoms of TB you should get tested right away, or visit your clinic to speak to a health care provider about your situation.



B-Wise Expert Expert 19 March 2016 04:07

Hi Mmaphoka, Yes, living with someone who has TB can put you at risk of getting TB, especially if they are coughing, if they have not started TB treatment, or if they are not taking their medication properly. Try and make sure the windows are open to allow the air in the house to flow. If you get any symptoms of TB you should get tested right away, or visit your clinic to speak to a health care provider about your situation.