How Tuberculosis Spreads

Updated at: Jan 10, 2014
How Tuberculosis Spreads

How Tuberculosis Spreads - Mycobacterium in the air is responsible for spreading this contagious disese, Tuberculosis. Read more to understand how you can prevent (airborne infection) tuberculosis from spreading.

Bushra Kafeel
Communicable DiseasesWritten by: Bushra KafeelPublished at: Mar 24, 2011

Tuberculosis Tuberculosis is an airborne infectious disease that is caused by the bacteria named Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB bacilli are present in person's sputum and can be only seen under a microscope, they spread through the medium of tiny droplets in air. If a person breathes in tuberculosis bacteria they can settle in the lungs and multiply there and finally move to other parts of the body through blood. Kidney, spine and brain are common targets but TB in lungs and throat can be very contagious and can as a matter of fact easily infect others.


The person living in crowded areas are more prone to catching this infection as the germs can easily be passed on from the TB patient in poorly ventilated and crowded areas. If you are still wondering on how tuberculosis spread, here are the common medicums of infection:

  • The bacteria is spread in to air when the people with tuberculosis spit, cough, sneeze, talk or even simply breathes.
  • TB germs can also spread by dust that is contaminated by the spit of an infectious person.
  • Tuberculosis can also pass from infected pregnant woman to her child through the placenta.
  • People with AIDS are more prone to tuberculosis as they have very weak immune systems that are not able to counteract to the bacteria.
  • The people that have undergone organ transplants are more susceptible to catch tuberculosis.
  • Family members, friends and co-workers of TB patients are more likely to be get infected as they more spend time with them.
  • The people who are dependent on immunosuppressant drugs are more prone to tuberculosis.


Here are some tips to prevent tuberculosis. The person with infection must always:

  • Take medicines on time.
  • Cover your mouth while coughing, sneezing and laughing.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the other family members.
  • Make sure your room is well ventilated as TB bacilli grows more in closed spaces.

A person infected with TB is likely to infect ten to fifteen others on annual basis. If one comes in contact with a tuberculosis  patient one must take test for latent tuberculosis and PPD skin test.





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