Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis)

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacterium that usually affects the lungs but can affect any part of the body such as the kidneys, lymph nodes, bones, joints, brain, and spine. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria gets sick. As a result, there are two conditions: latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and tuberculosis disease. Both conditions can be treated. Without treatment LTBI can progress to TB disease. If not treated, TB disease can be fatal.

TB is spread through the air from one person to another when someone with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, laughs or sings. People with TB disease are most likely to spread TB to people they spend every day with such as family members, co-workers, schoolmates, and friends.

In New York, local health departments conduct contact investigations to minimize the spread of TB and assign a case manager to every person with TB disease to assure coordination of care and treatment completion.