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Hi, I have a twelve years old son. After some problems he had with his cough, I took him to see a doctor. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Fortunately, everything is going as the doctors predicted. They explained to me a lot of things but I didn't quite understand them. Can you tell me what does tuberculosis do?

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Hi, tuberculosis is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is airborne and usually affects the lungs but can develop in other organs as well. The immune cells try to destroy the bacteria by surrounding them. This structures are called granulomas and even though their purpose is to protect our lungs, granulomas can do a lot of damage because around them lung tissue gets destroyed and scarred. Some of the bacteria stay inside this scarred tissue even when the person is cured. Later, when the immune system is weak, the bacteria break out of their shells and multiply. This time the granulomas and scarred tissue get destroyed and cavities are formed inside the lungs. Tuberculosis causes cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, night sweating and in serious cases weight loss.
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