What is Tuberculosis?

Reading time: 1 min

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, also known as Koch's bacillus.

The infection is transmitted through respiratory secretions (aerosols) that a person with the disease produces when coughing, speaking or sneezing.

It can affect any organ in the body, although its most frequent form of presentation is pulmonary. You have to be infected to develop the disease, but it is estimated that only 10% of infected people develop the disease throughout their lives. So it is important to distinguish between tuberculosis infection and disease.

Tuberculosis in firt person

Professionals and patients explain how you live with the disease.
Tuberculosis is a treatable and curable disease, but to achieve these favorable outcomes, treatment must be followed under medical supervision, and it can be a bit heavy and long, but if it is done well, the disease will heal.

According to estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO), each year there are around 10 million cases of tuberculosis in the world and around 1.5 million deaths. It is considered to be the infectious disease that causes the most deaths in the world.

It is also estimated that a quarter of the world's population is or has been infected at some point. In Spain, there are about 4,000 cases of tuberculosis each year and about 1,000 in Catalonia. It is the most common infection in men and in immigrants from countries where tuberculosis is highly endemic.

Substantiated information by:

Alberto García-Basteiro
Jose Antonio Martinez Martinez

Published: 1 February 2023
Updated: 1 February 2023

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