Tuberculosis (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 M. tuberculosis often does not cause symptoms, because 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. This disease is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics.

Key facts
  • Globally, in 2019, an estimated 10 million people were ill with TB, an estimated 1.4 million people die from TB, including 208,000 among persons living with HIV.
  • In the Americas, there were 289,000 estimated incident TB cases in 2019.
  • The estimated mortality rate for the region was 22,900, of which 26% (5,900) corresponds to TB/HIV coinfection.
  • There were also an estimated 11,000 cases of DR-TB in the Americas for 2019.
  • The END TB Strategy, developed in 2014, and which is also in line with the strategic development goals (SDGs), has as its main objective, to end the global TB epidemic. This strategy highlights targets to reduce TB deaths by 95%, to decrease new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035, and to ensure that no family is facing catastrophic costs due to TB.
Fact sheet