Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that usually infects 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. 

It is not easy to become infected with tuberculosis. Usually a person has to be close to someone with TB disease for a long period of time. TB is usually spread between family members, close friends, and people who work or live together. TB is spread most easily in closed spaces over a long period of time.

If it is not treated, TB can be fatal. But TB can almost always be treated and cured if you take medicine as directed by your healthcare provider. Once you begin treatment, within weeks you will no longer be contagious. That means you can't spread the disease to others. If you take your medicine just as your healthcare provider tells you, all the TB germs should be killed.