What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis or TB, as it’s commonly called, is a contagious infection that usually attacks the lungs and is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.

TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.


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TB Infographics

What is multidrug-resistant tuberculosis?

The bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB) can develop resistance to the antimicrobial drugs used to cure the disease. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is TB that does not respond to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful anti-TB drugs.


What is the burden in different parts of South Africa and how has it changed over time?

Tuberculosis is unevenly distributed in South Africa with four provinces carrying more than 70% of the burden. The TB epidemic has started to show a decline since 2008 and has reduced faster among females than males.

To explore the TB epidemic in South Africa you can click on the link below: 

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