Health topics

Tuberculosis (TB)

Man behind chest X-ray

Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease.

In healthy people, infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis often causes no symptoms, since the person's immune system acts to “wall off” the bacteria. The symptoms of active TB of the lung are coughing, sometimes with sputum or blood, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics.

Global tuberculosis report 2015

This report provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in implementing and financing TB prevention, care, control and research at global, regional and country levels using data reported by over 200 countries that account for more than 99% of the world's TB cases. In this 2015 edition, particular attention is given to assessment of whether 2015 global TB targets set in the context of the Millennium Development Goals were achieved worldwide and at regional and country levels.