Help us fight TB | Western Cape Government

Help us fight TB


Despite significant progress over the last few decades, Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4 500 lives a day.

Dr checking teenager girl's vitals

What is TB?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection caused by a bacterium Mycobacterium Tuberculosis also known as Koch’s bacillus. It spreads through the lymph nodes and bloodstream to any organ in the body but it's usually found in the lungs. Other areas affected, include the spine, brain and kidneys.

How is TB spread?

TB is a highly infectious disease that spreads through the air when a person with TB coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings.  Although the TB bacteria can live in your body without developing symptoms, if it’s not treated properly, TB can be fatal.

TB progresses from latent TB infection into the disease TB. People with latent TB infection don’t feel sick immediately because their bodies are able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing.  Only once the TB bacteria becomes active in your body, your immune system begins to weaken.

Together, we can stop the spread of TB

The content on this page was last updated on 25 February 2020