Tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria that is spread through the air through microscopic water droplets, according to Mayo Clinic. The droplets can occur every time a person already infected with the disease coughs, sneezes, laughs, sings or speaks.
Though tuberculosis is spread through the air, it's a difficult disease to catch, states Mayo Clinic. For the disease to spread, an individual needs to have almost constant contact with an infected person. The disease is very unlikely to spread through strangers, and most people who have had appropriate treatment are no longer contagious after two weeks of treatment.
Medication is the primary means used to treat tuberculosis, according to Mayo Clinic. The most commonly used drugs to treat the condition are antibacterial drugs such as Pyrazinamide, Ethambutol or Isoniazid. It is extremely important that anyone infected with tuberculosis take the prescribed medicine for the exact length of time prescribed, which can be as long as nine months. This is to reduce the chance of the bacteria developing a resistance to the medicine. Bacteria that are resistant to treatment are much more dangerous and extremely hard to cure. Treatment is possible if an individual experiences a strain that is resistant to medicine and usually includes a mixture of drugs called fluoroquinolones that must be taken for around 20 to 30 months.