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Tuberculosis. Frontal chest X-ray of the lungs of a 16-year-old patient with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Affected areas of the lungs are seen as white speckles (upper centre). Pulmonary TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is spread by coughing and sneezing. When inhaled into the lungs, the bacterium creates nodular lesions of dead tissue and bacteria called primary tubercles. Symptoms of pulmonary TB include fever, weight loss and the coughing up of blood, although it can be symptomless. Treatment is with long-term antibiotics. The disease may recur if the patient's immune system is weakened.
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