Tuberculosis (TB) kills about 2 million people every year and a further 8 million people become ill with TB each year.

Tuberculosis is caused by an infection with the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB usually occurs as a chest infection, but can also occur in the brain, spine, knee, lymph nodes, or other organs and bones. It is an infectious disease which spreads through the air and is passed on by people with pulmonary (lung) infection.

According to the world health organisation one-third of the world’s population is currently infected with TB and 5-10% of these people will become sick or infectious at sometime in their life.

There are a number of reasons why TB is spreading, these include HIV, which reduces resistance to infection, the ever increasing ease with which people move around the globe, and drug resistance which is partly brought about by inadequate and sometimes incorrect treatment regimes.

If you are interested in finding out more about this disease and how the World Health organisation are tackling the problem visit their website.

Also see .

Further information

World health Organisation

Health Protection Agency

This article published on
11 December 2005

Next review date 12/1/2013



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