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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


TB Facts for Health Care Workers

Mode of Transmission

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by airborne particles, known as droplet nuclei, that can be generated when persons with pulmonary or laryngeal TB sneeze, cough, speak, or sing. Persons who share the same airspace with persons with TB disease are at greatest risk for infection. Infection occurs when a susceptible person inhales droplet nuclei containing tubercle bacilli, and these bacilli become established in the alveoli of the lungs and spread throughout the body.


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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