March 24 is World TB Day

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial infection that typically affects the lungs, but can present itself in other areas of the body.

Symptoms often include weight loss, chest pain and a bad cough that could contain blood – which is also how the disease spreads.

“It can become airborne. And then you can inhale those bacteria and then those can go into the lower airways and can be absorbed into the lungs, into the lymph system,” said Medical Director of Infection Control at Edward Hospital, Dr. Jonathan Pinsky. “And then if you have a strong immune system it can kind of wall off the TB, and you may never have nay symptoms at all, or it can go on an progress to an active infection.”

While TB most commonly occurs in India, Indonesia and South Africa, it does also happen in the U.S., with around 340 cases occurring in Illinois in 2015.

If you’ve been to a country where TB is common, doctors recommend getting tested for TB.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.

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