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Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that usually attacks the lungs, but can attack almost any part of the body. Tuberculosis is spread from person to person through the air. When a person with TB in their lungs or throat coughs, laughs, sneezes, sings, or even talks, the germs that cause TB may spread through the air. If another person breathes in these germs there is a chance that they will become infected with tuberculosis.

People with weakened immune systems (those with HIV/AIDS, those receiving chemotherapy, or children under 5 years old, for example) are at a greater risk for developing TB disease. When they breathe in TB bacteria, the bacteria settle in their lungs and start growing because their immune systems cannot fight the bacteria. In these people, TB disease may develop within days or weeks after the infection.

TB of the brain symptoms:

• Fever and chills
• Stiff neck (meningismus)
• Nausea and vomiting
• Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
• Severe headache

TB of the spine symptoms:

• Backpain
• Stiffness
• Swelling at the back
• Deformity
• Paraplegia

TB of the kidneys symptoms:

• Enlarged kidneys
• Fever
• Hypercalcemia
• Inflammation of the pancreas
• Enlarged liver
• Cutaneous lesions

TB of the lymph nodes symptoms:

• Swollen glands, usually at the sides or base of the neck

Patients with diagnosed symptoms will require a long course of treatment involving multiple antibiotics. Antibiotics stop the growth of or kill bacteria.

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