RICHARD D'AMICO, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD D'AMICO, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tuberculosis. Coloured chest X-ray showing pulmonary tuberculosis (white patches, centre and upper left) in the upper lobe of the lung at left. Pulmonary tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which when inhaled into the lungs forms a primary tubercle (nodular lesion), and spreads to the nearest lymph nodes. Many people are infected without showing symptoms. Despite the immune system's ability to hold the disease in check, these people remain carriers, transmitting the bacilli by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include fever, weight loss, and the spitting of blood.
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